THE CIRCLE OF SIR PETER BYRNE LEICESTER & SIR JOHN FLEMING LEICESTER
IN THE EAST CHESHIRE GENTRY OF THE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES.

Introduction

The county histories written in the 19th century tend to focus on the landed families of the time so there are numerous sources of information for Cheshire such as County Families of Lancashire and Cheshire, by J. Croston, George Ormerod's History of Cheshire, J.P. Earwaker's East Cheshire Past and Present and Burke's Landed Gentry. The objective of the current study is to build up a picture of the neighbours and associates of Sir Peter Byrne Leicester (1732-1770) and Sir John Fleming Leicester (1762-1827) at Tabley House near Knutsford. Sir John became the 1st Lord de Tabley in 1826, the year before his death.

The gentry families of East Cheshire in the 18th and 19th century appear complex for several reasons. A number ran out of male heirs in this period and when the heiress married, her husband adopted her surname to succeed to the estate. It was very common for surnames to be used as Christian names so one encounters numerous people bearing the names of two local families such as Wilbraham Egerton or Egerton Leigh. In some families the same Christian names were used in each generation of the heirs of the estate and also by their cadet branches so that there were numerous people of the same name. A notable example is the Leycester family of Toft, which used the name Ralph for many generations. In addition some of the prominent families had two or more branches in the areas such as the Davenports and the Leghs.

A few sources have been found showing the East Cheshire Gentry en masse and these give us an insight into the circle of the Leicesters at this period.

1. The Cheshire Hunt
2. The Cheshire Yeomanry Cavalry
3. A Charity Ball
4. Mourners at the funeral of Thomas Langford Brooke in 1815
5. Mourners at the funeral of Peter Langford Brooke in 1840

1. CHESHIRE HUNT

I am grateful to Mrs. Karen Humphries, housekeeper at Tatton, for the details of those depicted in pictures of the Cheshire Hunt in 1823 and 1839, as shown on the legends to engravings made of the pictures.

Cheshire Hunt 1823

01.  Twemlow of Hatherton 15.  Lord Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley
02.  Shakerley of Somerford 16.  Booth Grey, Esq. of Marbury
03.  Sir Harry Mainwaring Bart. of Peover 17.  Deyville Poole, Esq. of Marbury
04.  Lord Delamere of Vale Royal 18.  Sir William W. Wynne, Bart.
05.  Lord Belgrave of Eaton 19.  J. H. Harper, Esq. of Davenham Hall
06.  Wilbraham Egerton of Tatton 20.  Legh of High Legh
07.  G. Wilbraham of Delamere 21.  Townsend of Wincham
08.  Wilbraham of Tollemache 22.  Armitstead of Cranage
09.  Wickstead of Baddiley 23.  Tomkinson, Esq. of Bostock Hall, Davenham
10.  Col. Parker of Astle 24.  Ashley of Frodsham
11.  Tomkinson of Dorfold 25.  General Heron of Daresbury
12.  Egerton of Dutton, Bart. 26.  Glegg of Withington
13.  Lord Crewe of Crewe 27.  Lord Stamford of Dunhay
14.  Sir R. Bootle of Norton, Bart 28.  Charles Cholmondeley of Knutsford

 

Cheshire Hunt 1839

By Henry Calvert, 1839.  Engraved by C. G. Lewis,
Published by Thos. Agnew, Repository of Arts, Exchange St. Manchester.

 

01.  James Royds, Esq. 23.  Wilbraham Tollemache, Esq.
02.  Charles J. Ford, Esq. 24.  John Tollemache, Esq. MP
03.  J. S. Entwistle, Esq. 25.  Humphrey de Trafford, Esq.
04.  Peter Langford Brooke, Esq. 26.  Col. Brooke, Esq.
05.  George Cornwall Legh, Esq. MP 27.  Richard Brooke, Esq.
06.  Thomas W. Tatton, Esq. MP 28.  W. Tatton Egerton, Esq.
07  R. G. Leycester, Esq. 29.  J. Ireland Blackburne, Esq. MP
08.  R. E. E. Warburton, Esq. 30.  Rt. Hon. Lord Delamere
09.  Henry Brooke, Esq. 31.  Charles Wickstead, Esq.
10.  Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton Bt. MP 32.  Sir Richard Brooke, Bart
11.  Master Egerton 33.  James J. France, Esq.
12.  Geoffrey Shakerley, Esq. 34.  J. W. Hammond, Esq.
13.  The First Whip 35.  J. Wilson Patten, Esq. MP
14.  W. Worthington, Esq. 36  J. H. Smith Barry, Esq.
15.  Mr. Maiden the Huntsman 37.  Thomas Hibbert, Esq.
16.  Col. Tomkinson 38.  James Tomkinson, Esq.
17  Rt Hon. Lord Robert Grosvenour, MP 39.  John Dixon, Esq.
18  Rt Hon. Lord de Tabley 40.  Charles Cholmondeley, Esq.
19.  J. H. Harper, Esq. 41.  John Glegg, Esq.
20.  Rt Hon. Earl Grosvenor 42.  George Clarke
21.  Wibraham Egerton, Esq. 43.  Thomas Knight.
22.  The second whip

 

The Tarporley Hunt Club 1962

Painted in 1963 by Terence Cuneo and on display at the Willington Hall Hotel

The remarkable endurance of the Cheshire gentry is illustrated by the members of the Tarporley Hunt Club shown in the portrait of 1963. In all thirty seven members are shown and three noted in the caption as being absent. Twenty members are shown below of whom 18 can be recognised as members of the families mentioned in the portraits made more than a century earlier. Viscount Leverhulme was an example of new wealth through soap, margerine and chemicals. The Leverhulme's house at Thornton Hough on the Wirral was sold in 2001. Lord Daresbury is from the Greenall brewing family which was formerly based at Walton Hall near Warrington.

Since this portrait was painted at least two of these lines have failed to produce a male heir - Langford Brooke of Mere and Leicester Warren of Tabley. Mere Old Hall and Mere New Hall have been sold and Tabley House is now owned by Manchester University.

C. L. S. Cornwall Legh Capt. R. V. Warburton
Lt. Col. Baskerville Glegg Sir Evelyn Delves Broughton
Viscount Leverhulme Capt. P. Egerton Warburton
Lord Tollemache Sir Randle Baker Wilbraham
Sir Richard Brooke Earl Rocksavage
Sir Walter Bromley Davenport Col. R. P. Langford-Brooke
Sir John Dixon Col. G. H. Grosvenor
C. R. Tomkinson Col. J. L. B. Leicester Warren
Lt. Col. R. H. Antrobus Marquess of Cholmondeley*
Lord Delamere* Lord Daresbury*


*Those marked with an asterisk were absent at the time of the portrait.

2. THE CHESHIRE YEOMANRY CAVALRY

On 26 November 1796, a meeting in Cheshire, presided over by Sir Peter Warburton, convened at Northwich by George Harry, 5th Earl of Stamford and Warrington, the Lord Lieutenant of the County resolved to form a regiment of six troops to be commanded by a Colonel, Lieu Col., 1 Major, 3 Captains, 5 Lieutenants, and 6 Cornets as a company of Light Cavalry.

The London Gazette of 18 February 1797 listed the officers as:

Colonel Sir John Fleming Leicester, Bart.
Lieu Colonel Thomas Crewe Dod, Esq
Major Thomas Langford Brooke, Esq., High Sheriff of the County
Captains Charles Watkin John Shakerley Esq.  Ralph Leycester junior Esq.  Henry Augustus Leycester.
Capt. - Lieutenant Charles Cholmondeley, Esq.
Lieutenants Legh Page, Esq. Edward Davies, Esq. Thomas Wright, Esq. Cranage Antrobus Esq. Charles Dickinson Henchman
Cornets Jonathan Higginson, gent., Robert Whitby, gent. and William Suter
A Partial List of Appointments to the Regiment
Name Appointment Notes
Thomas Langford Brooke Major 1797, Lieu-Col 1803 Brooke of Mere family
Henry Augustus Leicester Capt. 1797, Major 1803 Brother of Sir John Fleming Leicester
Cranage Antrobus Lieu 1797 .
William Billingham Cornet 1797 Surgeon of Knusford, died 1830
Ed Venables Townshend Capt. 1803; Lieu. Col. 1816 Replaced Augustus Leicester in 1816
John Hollins Capt. 1803 Attorney of Knutsford
William Okell Cornet 1803 Surgeon of Knutsford, died 1837
Peter Holland Surgeon 1803 Surgeon to several local landed families
Peter Langford Brooke Captain 1812; Major 1816; Lieu-Col. 1829 Brooke of Mere family, son of Thomas Langford Brooke.
John Okell Cornet 1813 .
Henry Edward Howard Cornet 1816 .
Thos. Langford Brooke Capt. 1816 Brother of Peter Langford Brooke
Thomas Grimsditch Cornet 1816 .
John Palin Cornet 1817 .
John Howard Cornet 1817 Possibly the Chemist and Druggist listed in Pigot's Directory of Knutsford in 1830
Cosmo Geo. Wallace Cornet 1818 The estate agent at Tabley
Wilbraham Egerton Capt. 1819, Lieu-Col. 1831 Tatton Park
Sir Henry Mainwaring Capt. 1819 Peover Hall
Alex Ogilvie Cornet 1824 The estate agent of the Brooke family of Mere
Hon Geo. de Tabley Capt. 1827 Eldest son of Lord de Tabley
Wm. Tatton Egerton Capt. 1827 Tatton Park
Geo. Harry Lord Grey Lieu Col Commandant 1827 Dunham Massey
Giles Crawford Antrobus Capt. 1827 Antrobus family of Congleton
William Palin Cornet 1827 .
Edward John Stanley 1829 Stanley family of Alderley Park
John Marshall Major 1829 Replacing Peter Langford Brooke on his promotion to Lieu. Col.
Rowland Eyles Egerton Warburton Capt. 1829 Captain of Northwich troop in place of John Marshall
Richard Dean Assistant Surgeon 1832 His second wife was Peter Holland's daughter

Source: The Earl of Chester's Yeomanry Cavalry, 1797-1897, Ballantyne Press, published in 1898.

3. A CHARITY BALL IN 1828

Announced on 2 February 1828 in Macclesfield Courier and Herald, Congleton Gazette, Stockport Express and Cheshire General Advertiser

Stockport Dispensary and House of Recovery

A Grand Fancy Dress Ball

Lady Patronesses

The Honourable Frances Maria Warren
Mrs. Humphreys, Bramall Hall
Mrs. Birley
Mrs. Phillips, Bank Hall
Mrs. Newton, Taxal Lodge
Mrs Hulton, Hulton Park
Mrs. Egerton, Tatton Park
Mrs. Legh, Lyme Hall
Mrs. Leigh, Mount Heaton
Mrs. Ryle, Park House Macclesfield
Mrs. Trafford, Trafford Park
Mrs. Vernon, Poynton Park

Stewards
Davies Davenport, MP Peter Marsland
Wilbraham Egerton, MP Samuel Oldknow
William Tatton Egerton John Ryle
Thomas Houldsworth, MP Thomas Joseph Trafford
George John Legh William Turner
Thomas Legh, MP (Lyme Park) The Hon. George Vernon
Sir Henry Mainwaring, Bart George William Newton
William Astley Shakespeare Phillips
Joseph Birley Admiral Tollemache
Isaac Blackburn George John Vernon
Captain Clarke, RN Thomas Walmsley, Mayor
William Fox John White
James Gee John Wright
William Hulton Henry Harrison
Richard Heywood Captain Humphreys, RN

 

Gentlemen's tickets, one guinea, Ladies' tickets, half a guinea. The Company (Clergymen excepted) will be required to appear in Fancy Dress, Naval or Military uniforms.

This company constitutes the "great and the good" of East Cheshire in 1828. Peter Marsland and Samuel Oldknow were both cotton manufacturers and they represent the rising class of industrialists in the Stockport and Manchester area. William Turner is also in this group. He was a manufacturer in Blackburn and purchased Shrigley Hall.

4. THE FUNERAL OF THOMAS LANGFORD BROOKE IN 1815


Following the death of Thomas Langford Brooke a single sheet showing the details of the procession and church service was printed for John Morris, "in grateful memory of a most respected master", by J. Gleave of Manchester. I am grateful to Mrs. Griffiths, daughter of the late Colonel Langford-Brooke for permission to examine this sheet. Among the mourners were the following relatives:

Meyrick Banks (son-in-law)
William Hulton (brother-in-law)

General Heron
The Rev. Geo. Heron.

The following friends and associates are shown as they were listed in the various coaches:

1. The Rev. S. Jacson Rev. J. H. Mallory Rev. Rowland Hill
2. Mr. Hollins, solicitor Mr. Holland, apothecary .
3. Rev. J. Browne Rev. H. D. Broughton .
4. T. Cholmondeley Trafford Trafford G. J. Legh
5. Sir J. F. Leicester Sir Richard Brooke Wilbraham Egerton, M.P.
6. Sir H. Mainwaring D. Davenport, M.P. Egerton Leigh
7. Townly Parker J. W. C. Shakerly Colonel Parker
8. J. Clegg R. Leycester Legh Cross
9. T. Tatton E. Townshend .

 

5. THE FUNERAL OF PETER LANGFORD BROOKE IN 1840

As reported in Macclesfield Courier and Herald, Congleton Gazette, Stockport Express & Cheshire Advertiser on 25 January 1840

Private Carriages for

General Heron Meyrick Bankes, Esq. Trafford Trafford, Esq.
Sir Richard Brooke Wilbraham Egerton, Esq. E. V. Towshend, Esq.
W. Hulton, Esq. Rev. George Mallory R. E. E. Warburton, Esq.
George Cornwall Legh, Esq. . .

The procession into the church included the following:

Rev. J. Hordern, Vicar of Rostherne, (the officiating clergyman)
Rev. Thomas Egerton
Rev. George Mallory
Rev. H. Cornwall Legh


Pall bearers were:

Colonel Brooke Wilbraham Egerton, Esq. R. E. E Warburton, Esq Lee P. Townshend, Esq.
H. Mainwaring, Esq C. Cholmondeley, Esq G. Cornwall Legh, Esq. H. (?) Trafford, Esq

The chief mourners were:

Mrs. Langford Brooke Lady Charlotte Bury Thomas Langford Brooke Esq. Earl of Charleville
Lord Arthur Lennox Sir Charles Rowley Meyrick Bankes, Esq. Trafford Trafford, Esq
Rev. Henry Broughton W. Hulton, Esq. Rev. George Heron Legh Trafford, Esq
Major Wildman E. V. Townshend, Esq H. Heron, Esq. Dr. Jones
Mr. Roscoe Mr. Ogilvie Mr. Holland Mr. Dean

The last line are professional men. Roscoe was an attorney, Ogilvie the estate agent and Holland & Dean were surgeons.

 

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