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PEDIGREE: to explain the descent of KINGSTON HOUSE through the Families of HALL, BAYNTON,
THE DUKE OF KINGSTON, and THE EARL MANVERS.
JOHN HALL,, Esq.,, living 1621. (The = Elizabeth Brune, survived probable builder of Kingston House). her husband.
Sir Thomas Thynne of SIR THOMAS HALL, Kt. of = Katharine, d. of Sir Longleat. Died 1670. Bradford. Died 1663. Edw. Seymour.
Robert = Elizabeth Pierrepoint. | Evelyn.
Sir Edward Baynton = Stuart of Bromham, K.B. I Thynne. Died 1679.
Elizabeth = JOHN HALL, of Wm. Coward, = Bridget Hall, Thynne. | Bradford, Esq., . Recorder of only dau.
Sheriff of Wilts Wells. Died 1670. Died 1711. 1705.
2. Isabella = Evelyn Pierrepoint, = 1. Mary Bentinck. 1st Duke of Kingston. Fielding.
Died March 1726.
Hon. WM. PIERREPOINT, only son = RACHEL BAYNTON, only d. and h. Bapt. and heir. Died æt. 21, during his at Great Chalfield, 14th April, 1695. father's lifetime, July 1st, 1713. [Chal. Par. Reg). Died 1722.
Henry Baynton, only son. Died at Chalfield, Dec. 14th. Buried at Bromham, Dec. 19th, 1696. [Chal. Par. Reg]
EVELYN PIERREPOINT, succeeded his grandfather as = 2nd and last Duke of Kingston, 1726. Died 1773.
Elizabeth Frances Pierrepoint, = Philip, eldest son of Sir Philip Meadows.
CHARLES MEADOWS, Esqi, assumed the surname of Pierrepoint. Created
alias the Honble. Miss Chudleigh; alias Mrs. Harvey, alias Countess of Bristol, alias finally Duchess of Kingston. Her father was Col. Chudleigh, of Chelsea, a younger brother of Sir George Chudleigh, Bart., of Ashton, in Devonshire. She was born in 1720, and through the influence of Mr. Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath, was appointed at an early age Maid of Honour to the Princess of Wales, mother of King George III. Upon a very
slight acquaintance and under a mistaken pique against another · person, she privately married at Lainstone, in Hampshire, on 4th
August, 1744, the Honble. Augustus John Hervey, a young lieutenant in the Royal Navy, who in the following year succeeded his brother as Earl of Bristol. From her husband she very soon separated, and after 25 years, still maintaining her situation at court, and her husband being still alive, she married the Duke of Kingston publicly at St. George's, Hanover Square, March 8th, 1769. This union was dissolved by the death of the Duke at Bath, 23rd September, 1773. He bequeathed to her every acre of his great estates for her life, and every guinea of his personal property absolutely. Under this disappointment, his heirs sought for and succeeded in obtaining proof of her first marriage, and the consequence was, that for the offence of bigamy she was impeached before the house of Lords. The trial lasted five days, commencing April 15th, 1776. This event excited, as is well known, the utmost sensation in the fashionable world, and the scene was converted by the caprice of public taste into a complete holiday spectacle. Ladies attended in full court dress, and soldiers were placed at the doors to regulate the entrance of the crowds that pressed in. The appearance of the Duchess herself is thus described by an eyewitness Mrs. Hannah More. “Garrick would have me take his ticket to go to the trial, a sight which for beauty and magnificence exceeded anything that those who were never present at a coronation or a trial by peers can imagine. Mr. Garrick and I were in fulldress by seven. You will imagine the bustle of 5000 people getting into one hall. Yet in all the hurry we walked in tranquilly. When they were all seated, and the King at Arms had commanded silence on pain of imprisonment, (which however was very ill
observed), the Usher of the Black Rod was commanded to bring in his prisoner. Elizabeth calling herself Duchess Dowager of Kingston walked in led by Black Rod and Mr. La Roche, curtseying profoundly to her Judges. The Peers made her a slight bow. The prisoner was dressed in deep mourning, a black hood on her head, her hair modestly dressed and powdered, a black silk sacque with crape trimmings, black gauze deep ruffles, and black gloves. The Counsel spoke about an hour and a quarter each. Dunning's manner was insufferably bad, coughing and spitting at every three words, but his sense and expression pointed to the last degree. He made her Grace shed bitter tears. The fair victim had four Virgins in white behind the Bar. She imitated her great predecessor Mrs. Rudd, and affected to write very often; though I plainly perceived that she only wrote as they do their love epistles on the stage, without forming a letter. The Duchess has but small remains of that beauty of which Kings and Princes were once so enamoured. - She is large and ill-shaped. There was nothing white but her face; and had it not been for that she would have looked like a bale of bombazeen.”
Lord Chancellor Apsley presided as High Steward. The charge was fully proved, and the marriage with the Duke declared illegal. The Lady read her own defence, and by her tears, cleverness, impudence, and eccentricity, so wrought upon the Honourable House, that they avoided the enactment of any penalties, amongst which would have been, as the law seems then to have stood, the very unpleasant one of being branded in the hand. The prosecutors however failed in their great object, the restitution of the property. The Duke had so worded his bequest that it was inalienably her's under any one of her many titles.
The Duchess's whole life had been one of adventure, display, and indelicate publicity. She had great means at command, and upon her trial incidentally alluded to a balance of £70,000, in her banker's hands. She built Ennismore House, at Kensington. At one of. her fêtes, Horace Walpole says, that on all the sideboards and even on the chairs were pyramids and troughs of strawberries and cherries. “You would have thought her the protegée of Vertumnus himself.”
After her trial she went to Russia, “en princesse,” in a ship of her own; was received graciously by the Empress, purchasèd for £12,000 an estate near St. Petersburgh, and proposed to erect works on it for the distillation of brandy. Soon afterwards she returned to France, where also she had an estate: ånd died rather suddenly at Paris, 26th August, 1788, aged 68.
She resided occasionally at Kingston House, and no doubt by her fantastic performances infused a little vivacity into the orderly ideas of the townsfolk of Bradford. Old people there still tell traditional tales of her ladyship's peculiarities. Upon her decease, in consequence of the Duke having died without issue, the landed estates which she enjoyed for her life, passed to his sister's son Charles Meadows, who assumed by sign manual the surname and arms of Pierrepoint, and was created Earl Manvers in 1806. A very large part of the property still belongs to his family, but Kingston House with about nine acres of ground, was sold in 1802, to Mr. Thomas Divett, who erected a woollen mill upon the premises. The house fell into the occupation of inferior tenants and was rapidly sinking to decay, when it was fortunately again sold by Mr. Divett’s representatives in 1848, to the present owner Mr. Stephen Moulton. Mr. Moulton's first act--one for which he deserves the thanks of all admirers of architectural elegancé, was to put into complete restoration all that remained of the North Wiltshire Hall of John Hall.
There is some slight reason for believing that the Duke of Monmouth lodged here, during one of his progresses amongst the gentlemen of the west of England; but no specific notice of this circumstance has yet been met with. Upon taking up the floor of one of the apartments in 1851, a curious discovery was made of a beautiful court sword of Spanish steel, which Mr. Moulton gave to the late Captain Palairet, of Woolley Grange, near Bradford. Along with it were found some fragments of horse equipage, holsters, &c.; and a quantity of ancient deeds and papers, chiefly relating to the Hall family and their property, in and near Bradford. As a sequel to the history of Kingston House, we introduce the substance of them in the two following schedules. Number 17 in
Schedule 2, will be found contain evidence that the property in Bath, now belonging to Earl Manvers, was derived to his family from the same source as Kingston House, the HALLS of Bradford.
ABSTRACT OF LATIN AND ENGLISH DEEDS RELATING CHIEFLY TO LANDS OF HALL AND ROGERS, FOUND UNDER A GARRET FLOOR, IN REPAIRING KINGSTON HOUSE, 1851.
1. Charter of Agnes de Bunewoode granting to William de Forde
son of John de Forde, Clerk, (sic), all her right in Schorterofte . near Forde, and all her land in the town of Forde, near the land of John and Nicholas de Forde, for the annual payment of Twopence and a žlb of pepper. Witnesses, Reginald de Buteler, John de Bosco, Richard de Ba, William France, John his son, Robert de Linton, Roger de Bunewode, and others.
[No date, but probably Hen. III.-Şeal destroyed]. 2. Charter of Margaret de Bunewode granting to John Clerk as .
a marriage portion with her Daughter Juliana half of her lands
1 Walter of Chalfield is mentioned as Patron of the Rectory 1308-9 (2. Edw. II.) (Wilts Institutions).
2 Robert of Broughton was Rector of Gt. Chalfield in 1308. (Wilts. Inst,)