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History of ownership of Bardon Park

 
This material is largely derived from Len Noble's book (published 1995) "Bardon Hill  - a source book being a collection of papers, anecdotes and published work concerning the anceint enclosure of Bardon Park with additional comment".       ISBN 0 9525978 0 2   
 
In 1204, in the reign of King John, the castle at Whitwick was put in the hands of a keeper named William de Senevill.   The manor passed from Hugh de Grentemaisnil through the earls of Leicester to Roger de Quincey, earl of Winton (or Winchester ?).   On de Quncey's death in 1264, the manor passed through his daugther Elizabeth to her husband Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan.   (Incidentally, Elizabeth's sister Helen de Quincey married Alan de la Zouch).  
 
Alexander made over the manor of Whitwick to his eldest son John Comyn and his wife in 1282.
 
John Comyn was a rebel.   The Crown disapproved of his support of John Balliol's claim to the Scottish crown.  
 
John Comyn's wife Isabel McDuff was daughter of the McDuff earl of Fife.   The McDuff earls of Fife were regarded as having the ancient right to crown the Scottish kings.
 
After an abortive raid on Carlise in 1299, John Comyn was ordered to dwell south of the Trent until the end of the war with France.  Some of his lordships were taken from him and John de Barr was given custody of the manor of Whitwick.   
 
It is recorded that in 1300 John de Barr was given licence to sell wood from the park at Bardon.
 
The manor of Whitwick was restored to John Comyn in 1304.
 
John Comyn's kinsman, the Red Comyn, was himself one of a number of rival contenders for the throne of Scotland.  
 
On 10th February 1306, the Red Comyn was murdered by Robert the Bruce, another rival contender.   This brutal murder took place in the Greyfriars monastery church at Dumfries, in front of the Holy Table.     
 
Events then moved very quickly, and at Scone in March 1306 Robert Bruce was crowned king of Scotland.    In fact, he was crowned twice, once on 25th March, and with a second coronation on 29th March.
 
In 1306, Isabel's father (Duncan III) was dead (murdered, circa 1289), and her brother, the then current McDuff earl of Fife (Duncan IV) was still a minor.   Further, Duncan IV he was not available to take part in a coronation ceremony in that he was captive in English hands.    
 
There was a form of coronation at Scone on 25th March 1203, with much formaility and ceremony, but its validity may have been open to challenge in that the earl of Fife was not present, nor represented.        
 
As explained, John Comyn's wife Isabel McDuff was the daughter of the murdered McDuff earl of Fife (Duncan III), and sister to the current imprisoned earl (Duncan IV).   
 
A second coronation ceremony was held on 29 March 1306 when Isabel McDuff turned up at Scone.  Opposing her husband whose cousin the Bruce had so recently murdered, and claiming to act on behalf of her captive brother Duncan IV, the current McDuff earl of Fife, and her murdered father Duncan III, Isabel placed the Scottich Crown on the head of Robert the Bruce !!! 
 
Two years later, Robert the Bruce soundly defeated John Comyn who was forced to retire to England where he died in 1308, without issue.   Isabel was imprisoned at Berwick on Tweed on the orders of King Edward II.  She remained there until 1313.
 
John Comyn's heirs were Margaret Comyn and Alice Comyn, the daughters of John's brother Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan.    In 1301, Alice Comyn married Henry, Lord Beaumont.  Alice should have taken her share of her inheritance from John Comyn.   However, John's brother William had, with his brother's consent, taken possession of some parts of the manors concerned, incuding Bardon Park.   This transfer could only happen if the King gave consent, which was eventually given, and so the manors concerned were then officially delivered to the Beaumonts.
 
In 1313, Edmund de Hastings was ordered to deliver John Comyn's widow Isabel from Berwick on Tweed to the keeping of Henry Beaumont who, as we have seen, was married to a Comyn (Alice Comyn) and was eventually lord of the manor of Whitwick.  
 
The name Hastings will be repeated in the history of Bardon Park.
 
In 1326, the lords of the manors of Loughborough, Hugglescote, Shepshed and Beaumanor were executed for treason, and the Beaumonts succeeded to the titles.   The Beaumonts then deserted Whitwick and Bardon, leaving them to rot.
 
Henry Beaumont had fought alongside the king at Boroughbridge (battle of Boroughbridge, 16th March 1322), but in 1326 he too betrayed the king.   As a result, the king (King Edward II) was detained at Berkley Castle (Gloucestershire) and murdered (1327). 
 
After Alice and Margaret Comyn inherited, the manorial benefits had been divided.  Over the years they were to be divided again and again.  It is not at all clear to whose benefit the park at Bardon fell.   
 
Henry Beaumont died in 1339.   He was succeeded by his 22 year old son John who had married Eleanor, daughter of the earl of Lancaster.  John died in 1342, leaving a two year old son Henry as heir.
 
The succession of Henry at the age of two in 1342 was the first of four generations of Beaumont minors to succeed to the lordships.   Henry Beaumont died in 1369 at the age of 29, leaving as heir his eight year old son, John, who died in 1396 at the age of 35, leaving his son 16 year old Henry, as lord of the manor.  In his turn Henry died in 1413 at the age of 33 leaving yet another minor, John aged three to succeed.
 
The last Henry Beaumont's widow, Elizabeth, held the lordships until her death in 1427 when the inquisition noted that Whitwick castle was "old and ruinous, in which are no buildings and worth nothing yearly".   The manor was then in a poor state and the note records "there are 12 messuages there, of which 12 are in the lord's hands for want of tenants".  Bardon Park is not mentioned.
 
John Beaumont was 18 on his mother's death.   He was to prove a family exception.   He married Elizabeth, sole heir of Sir William Phelip, lord Bardolf.  
 
On 12 February 1439, John Beaumont was the first viscount ever to be created.   In 1441, he was made a knight of the Garter.   In the same year, hs wife Elizabeth died leaving a son named William who, having inherited his maternal grandmother's estates, was during his father's lifetime known as "lord Bardolf".   John Beaumont then married Katerine, daughter of Ralph, duke of Westmoreland who, because of a previous marriage to John de Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, retained the title "duchess" for the rest of her life.   (Katerine had also been married to Sir Thomas Strangeways).  John Beaumont, her third husband, was killed at the battle of Northampton on 10 july 1461.  He was 41 years old.
 
William (lord Bardolf), who became second viscount Beaumont, was (like his father) on the Lancastrian side in the wars of the roses.   He was taken prisoner at the battle of Towton in 1461.  In the same year by Act of Parliament he forfeited all of his estates and in 1462 these were put in the hands of the king's servitor Richard Hastings.    This was only a temporary arrangement for, in 1485, Henry VII restored the possessions and lordships to the Beaumonts.   
 
In 1486, William made over the manors of Whitwick and Markfield to "Katherine Hastyngs, widow, lady hastyngs, and Edward hastyngs, knight, lord Hastyngs during the life of the said Katherine".    It is not clear why William should have made this transfer.   One possible reason would be if Katherine Beaumont had been married to Edward Hastyngs, as her fourth husband.   Was this Katherine, William Beaumont's step-mother ?    There is another possible reason.  In 1487, William Beaumont had been declared mad.  He was given into the custody of John de Vere, earl of Oxford.  
 
In 1507, William Beaumont died at the age of 69 at the earl of Oxford's house at Wivenhoe.   One historian says the estates and lordships then reverted to the Crown as William Beaumont had died without issue.    Another historian says that John de Vere succeeded to the lordships through his wife Elizabeth who was the daughter of William Beaumont.       
 
At this time there were four dwellings in the Park.    
 
The manor of Whitwick again reverted to the Crown.   This time due to the treasonable acts of Francis, Lord Lovel.   In 1512, the then king, Henry VIII, exchanged the manor of Whitwick for lands in Kent with Thomas, marquis of Dorset.  The marquis was succeeded by his son Henry, who had been created duke of Suffolk.  But, in 1552, after being convicted of treason, Suffolk lost the family's right to the manor.  On the death of the dowager duchess of Suffolk in 1559, the manor reverted to the Crown and in 1604 William Kyngeston became bailiff of the manor of Whitwick.
 
In 1612, King James I (James VI of Scotland) sold the manor for £ 4000 to Sir Henry Hastings and Henry Cutler and their heirs, in trust for Henry, earl of Huntingdon.   
 
This 1612 transfer is intriguing.   King Robert the Bruce was a grandson of an earlier earl of Huntingdon !!!
 
The manor of Whitwick was then held by the Hastings family until the end of the 19th century.   
 
This possession of the manor of Whitwick meant that Bardon Park was at the disposal of Hastings and Cutler until they sold the Park to the Hood family, who had been for some years resident there as tenants.
 
The earliest written record of the Hood family at Bardon Park is that of the marriage of Thomas Hood in 1574 to Elizabeth.
 
The Hoods remained at Bardon Park until the death of old William Hood at nearly ninety years of age on 16 May 1833.
 
Under the terms of William's Will, the Bardon Park estate passed to his cousin Robert Jacomb.   The link between the Hoods and the Jacombs derives from William Hood's father John Hood and Robert Jacomb's grandfather William Jacomb, and is explained below:
 
  • John Hood and William Jacomb had been London solicitors in practice together.  
  • They (John Hood and William Jacomb) had married two sisters Cecelia Snell and Mary Snell (grand-daughters of Sir Edmund Harrison).   Robert Jacomb was the grandson of William Jacomb and Mary Snell, and thus William Hood and Robert Jacomb were cousins (first-cousins-once-removed), through William Hood's mother Cecelia Snell and Robert Jacomb's paternal grandmother Mary Snell.   
  • There is also a family link on the paternal (Hood) side, in that Sarah Danvers had been the first wife to Robert Jacomb's father, the Reverend Robert Jacomb.   William Hood and Sarah Danvers were cousins (first-cousins-once-removed), through William Hood's paternal aunt Elizabeth Hood (Mrs Danvers), grandmother to Sarah Danvers.    Incidentally, Elizabeth was killed by the fall of the chimney at her house in Bath, occasioned by the high wind on 14th March 1757 known as 'Byng's Wind'.          
Upon inheriting the Bardon Park estate from William Hood, Robert Jacomb and his wife Susan took the hyphenated name Jacomb-Hood.      They moved to Bardon Park in 1834.   In 1836, they set about building a grand new hall on the hillside.   They moved into the new hall in 1837, and the dilapidated ancient hall on the moated island in the shallow valley to the south of the hill was demolished around 1840. 

  • A son and grandson of Robert and Susan became noted civil and railway engineers.  A cousin William Jacomb (1831-1887) had been articled in 1851 to Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859).   Robert and Susan's eldest son (also Robert), Robert Jacomb-Hood Jnr (1822-1900), took articles with William Jacomb.   Their grandson John Wykeham Jacomb-Hood (1859-1914) then followed his father into the civil and railway engineering profession.  Between the three of them (William Jacomb, Robert Jacomb-Hood and John Wykeham Jacomb-Hood) they were responsible for the construction of several Thames bridges and Waterloo Station.   
  • The noted portrait and genre painter and illustrator and etcher George Percy Jacomb-Hood (1857-1929) was John Wykeham Jacomb-Hood's elder brother.
  • In 1885, Robert and Susan's daughter Miss Eliza Jacomb-Hood (1826-1889) donated a 37 foot lifeboat to the RNLI station at Newbiggin-by-Sea in Northumberland in  memory of her parents.   The Robert and Susan lifeboat was the fourth boat at the Newbiggin station where it served until 1906.   During that time, it saved 79 lives.  A model, originally presented to Miss Eliza, may be seen at the Newbiggin RNLI station.
 
In 1859, Robert and Susan tried to sell the Bardon Park estate.    The estate was eventually sold, apparently in 1864, to the Herrick family.    
 
From about the 1870s onwards, the Herrick family leased and/or sold certain quarrying rights to Messrs Ellis & Everard.
 
Mr Breedon Everard moved to Hill Top House (later called Bardon Hill House) in about 1856.   From about 1872 until about 1939, members of the Everard family occupied Bardon Hall as tenants.
 
The Curzon-Herrick family sold the Bardon estate by auction on 28th August 1947, and the estate was broken-up.
 
The Tom family, a Cornish family of quarrymnasters, bought into the Ellis & Everard quarrying company, and eventually gained control of the company.   Most of Bardon Park was later bought by the Tom family and their company Bardon Hill Quarries Limited.   This company is now re-named Aggregate Industries, and is part of a world-wide group of companies, the Holcim group.
 
 
 
 
      
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