Turtle Bunbury

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One of my great-grandmother on my father's side was Sylvia Drew, who achieved a degree of fame following the publication of extracts of her remarkable early 20th century albums in 'The World of Interiors' in September 2011.

Sylvia's maiden name was Robinson, or Peart Robinson. Her mother was a Radley of the hotel-owning dynasty. Her uncle John was a patron of the Arts and Craft movement. The following is the ever-evolving story of her family.

Although there are no known family pedigrees or histories to prove it, the Robinsons have reputedly been established landowners and farmers in the Chatburn area, and around the Lancashire/Yorkshire border near Settle, since 1800. One of the earliest records concerns the Surrender of Admission in 1652 of a barn and land known as Blackwood in Ouldlawnd, Forest of Pendle, ‘from John Robinson of Ouldlawnd and his son Edmond to Edmond Stevenson of Bareley, to the use of his son John Stevenson’.[i] Hugo Brown, a great-grandson of John Gorges Robinson, also mentions 'a persistent belief' that the family were 'in some way' connected to the Marquess of Ripon. He mentions a large quantity of plate and silver, including signet rings, that bore the Ripon crest and it is perhaps relevant that the Ripon family name is Robinson.

The earliest known Robinson ancestor of the family was William Robinson who died in 1674. He is believed to have been a son or grandson of the Robinsons of Raydale Worton in Wensleydale Yorkshire. Family lore holds that they were ejected in 1617 by Sir Thomas Metcalfe in what some have called the last private war in England. That story, as kindly relayed to me by Tom Robinson, appears as an appendix to this family history.

His son William Robinson II married Margaret Chatburn and died in 1693. William and Margaret’s son William Robinson III was born in 1677 married Agnes Peart and died in 1736. Agnes was the daughter of Stephen Peart (1630-1709) of Linton by his wife Alice Marshall (1657-1728) of Grassington.

William and Agnes’s son William Robinson IV was born in Linton Parish in 1708, a year before his Grandfather Peart died. On 24 September 1737, he was married at Arncliffe to Sarah Dawson (9 Dec 1713 - c. 1793), the eldest daughter of William Dawson, tailor, of Halton Gill by his wife Elizabeth Bouch. Sarah's siblings were Josias Dawson (1710-48), Elizabeth (1715-76), Thomas (who died as a child, 1717-29) and William (who died as an infant in 1721).

[NB: A piece of trivia that only the most diehard Bunbury genealogists would enjoy ... Elizabeth Bouch was a granddaughter of the Rev Richard Jackson, rector of Whittington Lancs. Another of the Rev. Jackson's granddaughters, albeit from a different line, was Rose Jackson who married Thomas Bunbury of Cloghna, County Carlow. Just to clarify, the Rev. Jackson's daughter Vigesima (1657-1734, by his later wife Jane Carter) married the curate Thomas Bouch (c. 1660-1716, who succeeded his father-in-law as rector of Whittington in 1680) and they were parents of Elizabeth Bouch. Thanks to Tom Robinson for this].

William and Sarah had six children: William (who died as an infant in 1739), Elizabeth (1740-), Ann (1742-), Sarah (1744-bur. 1830), William (who died aged 3 in 1750) and Josias (1749-1827), to whom we turn to next.

William IV died in 1774. His widow Sarah Robinson was buried at Downham on 20 January 1793. [ii]


William IV and Sarah’s son Josias Robinson, was born on 29th March 1749, shortly before the death of his older brother William, aged 3, made him his parents only son.

He became bailiff of Clitheroe in 1806. On 14th October 1807, his daughter received a letter from his wife stating that "your Father must... go to Clitheroe to resign his Bailiffs gown". Josias is mentioned in deeds and wills relating to Clitheroe.

Josias’s wife Susanna Dixon (1758-1824) was the daughter of Abraham Dixon (b. 1722) and Susanna (nee Constantine, of Ketterwell) Dixon of Skipton and granddaughter of William and Grace (nee Fairbank) Dixon of Burnsall.

Evidence in the letters, and from handed-down family names, indicates family connections with the Paleys, Dawsons and Ingrams in the Giggleswick area, and farther afield in Knaresborough and Pontefract. The family were evidently involved with the cotton riots and letters refer to the "turbulent wretches" who burned down a weaving mill at Westhoughton in 1812.

Susanna died on 2nd July 1824 and Josias, plagued with blindness in latter years, died on 3rd March 1827.

The Robinson papers at the National Archives contain considerable correspondence relating to both the Robinson and Peart Robinson families.[iii] “Relative affluence or a surfeit of surviving children may have increased the Robinsons' aspirations and expanded their horizons: the male children and grandchildren of Josias and Susanna largely became middle-class Victorian professionals, as bankers and solicitors, in the army or in the church.”

WILLIAM ROBINSON V (1789-1872/9)

Josias and Susanna’s eldest child William Robinson V was born on 21st June 1789. On 8th October 1819 the thirty year old was married at Giggleswick to his cousin Jane Peart, born 1786, daughter of Craven Bank co-founder John Peart of Grassington and his wife Ellen (nee Clapham). It was from this marriage that the 'Peart' part of the surname later originated. The marriage was noted in a letter from Zurich written by William’s brother Josias in which he described his journey from Brussels to Zurich, via Waterloo, Cologne etc. In 1837, two years after William Robinson succeeded his father-in-law as a partner in the Craven Bank, the bank moved their premises to the offices of the Wharfedale Railway Company. These were purchased in 1847 and the new branch office was built on this site in 1860. Jane Robinson died in 1843 (or 1858?) and William V died in Settle on 17 February 1872 (1879?). They left issue, of whom we treat anon.


Josias and Susanna’s only daughter Susanna Constantine Robinson was born on St Valentine’s Day, 1791. She died aged 61 on 19th December 1852.


Josias and Susanna’s second son Josias Robinson was born in 1793 and may have been the first of the family to attend university. He gained his BA from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1814, and was a fellow there from 1816 to 1824. Four of his sons graduated from the same college. In 1824 he became curate at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire (the letters show that he was industrious in establishing himself there even before his appointment). From 1841 to 1843 he was Rector of Alresford, Essex. He died on 20th May 1843 at 38 Park Street, London. His wife Margaret (nee Atkinson) died on 21st October 1861. The Rev. Josias Robinson’s eldest son Alexander became Rector of Linton, while his second son Thomas also served the Church of England as Rector of Wapping 1853-60 and of Poplar 1860. In 1843 all his sons assumed the name Nowell in lieu of Robinson.[iv]

DIXON ROBINSON (1795-1878)

Josias and Susanna’s third son Dixon Robinson (1795-1878) is described on Wikipedia as 'an English lawyer, Gentleman Steward of the Honour of Clitheroe and philanthropist in the 19th Century.' He was born on 17 June 1795 at Chatburn, Lancashire, and became a partner in the firm of Carr and Robinson, solicitors, of Blackburn. This evolved into Robinson and Sons, with Dixon's children Arthur and Henry. The firm's name continued through further generations, the business being carried on through Arthur's sons Frederick Dixon Robinson and Thomas Chambers Robinson. Colonel Geoffrey Robinson, noted in trade directories in 1951, was presumably a great-grandson of Dixon. The firm continued until at least 1966 but appears no longer to be operating with Robinson connections. Deposits by the firm at Lancashire Record Office include Peart-Robinson estate records. Part of the reason why my brother William Bunbury ended up working for Ingham & Yorke in Clitheroe during the 1990s was because the company still looked after the remnants of the Peart Robinson estate around Clitheroe and in Yorkshire.

Dixon was also Gentleman Steward of the Honor of Clitheroe, a position whose residence was Clitheroe Castle, ancient seat of the Lords of Bowland. He served as a colonel in the East Lancashire Volunteers. In June 1823, and again in 1834, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master in the Orange Institution [Lodge] He married twice. His first wife Margaret White, whom he married in Blackburn, bore him a son Josias but both died within a year, Margaret succumbing on 25th November 1820. Dixon Robinson married secondly Matilda Ingram, born 1806, sister of the Rev Robert Ingram. They were wed on 1 Nov 1828 at Kegworth, the Leicestershire town then celebrated for its stocking shops. They had seven sons and five daughters, seven of whom survived to adulthood. Dixon passed away at Clitheroe on 21st July 1878 and Matilda Robinson passed died at Chatburn on 24th August 1886.[v] Their children were:

1. Arthur Ingram Robinson (1832-1912) of Clitheroe Castle & Chatburn, Solicitor and Gentleman Steward of the Honor of Clitheroe. He married Rosanna Chambers. See Robinson of Chatburn from Burkes Landed Gentry 1952. Their elder daughter Lucy Robinson (died 1901) married, as his first wife, Edmund Fowle; their granddaughter was Alicia Tottenham of Ballycurry, Ashford, Co Wicklow. Mr Fowle was married secondly to Agnes Wilson, a great-aunt of Dermot Daly (father to Sarah Wardell).

2. Frederick Josias Robinson (1833-1892), Architect of Derby. Christ Church, Chatburn was partly paid for by Messrs William & Dixon Robinson and extensions designed by Frederick Josias Robinson. The first perpetual curacy was given to his brother-in-law Rev Robert Ingram. There are many Ingram and Robinson memorials in the church.

3. Col. George Robinson (1835-1907), Bank Manager and director of the Craven Bank. He was a militia colonel, whose Eton and Oxford educated eldest son Geoffrey Robinson changed his name to Geoffrey Dawson on receiving a legacy from a relative on his mother's side and served as editor of The Times from 1912 to 1919. 'George Robinson, with mutton-chop whiskers and heavy tweed cape and deerstalker hat, was a familiar and revered figure in the town. Although he had entered the bank as a clerk he was related to William Robinson, one of the partners. By the turn of the century the bank had 15 full offices and numerous sub branches; Welbury Kendall was Manager at Skipton and acted as A.G.M., and there was an inspector, J. H. Bramwell, whose clerk, Tom Kidd, made a loud buzzing noise when adding a column of figures. In those days the strong room was lit by a gas jet and had an outer and an inner door—each with three keys. Gold was in common use and as the cattle market was held in the High Street bovine entries were not uncommon in the banking hall. The half-yearly balance often lasted until 2 a.m. but Colonel Robinson's store cupboard was thoughtfully left unlocked on such occasions and the staff, other than juniors, refreshed themselves from the directors' stock of beer and whisky. George Robinson's successor in 1901 was J. F. Ponting, formerly Manager of the Keighley branch, whose stringent policies reduced much of the over-optimistic lending and no doubt made possible the amalgamation with the Bank of Liverpool in 1906.' [from 'Four Centuries of Banking'].

4. Susannah Catharine Robinson (1839-1911), married Dr Musson of Clitheroe.

5. Matilda Jane Robinson (1841-1916), married the brewer Norman Watney (1834-1911) who built Valence outside Westerham, Kent.

6. Margaret Elizabeth Robinson (1844-1897), of The Manor House Clitheroe.

5. Henry John Robinson (1845-1913), Solicitor.

Others: Matilda (b. 1829), William Dixon (b. 1831), Robert Acklom (b. 1837), Robert (b. 5 May 1847) & Lucy (b. 1849).


JOHN ROBINSON (1797-1802)

Josias and Susanna’s fourth son John Robinson was born on 13th January 1797 and died aged five on 2nd May 1802.


The archives of Martins Bank (as Craven Bank later became) contains a letter, dated 2 October 1930, written by R M Robinson of Settle, a son of Colonel George Robinson (1835-1907), son of Dixon Robinson and the first General Manager of the Skipton branch, as well as a director of the Craven Bank. The Colonel was a first cousin of William Robinson VI (see below). In the letter, RM Robinson describes the Pearts as ‘a very old Grassington family. I have their pedigree from about 1600. The eldest sons lived at town End Grassington, a pleasant old house …on the way to Coniston … They were named William and Stephen alternately. John Peart was a younger son who went to Richmond to practise as a solicitor. His elder brother Stephen had a son William who went to London. I do not think that John Peart was ever a solicitor in Grassington, but his family banked with the Alcocks, and John Peart, becoming acquainted with the Birkbecks in Settle had a good deal to do with the amalgamation”.[vi]

In 1731, William Peart of Grassington was Barmaster at Grassington to the Earl of Burlington, being answerable to Thomas Hawkswell (the Agent at Bolton Abbey) and Henry Simpson (the Steward). If this is of interest, it is worth googling a mining dispute at Grassington.

In 1791, while Jane was a baby, John Peart became one of six co-founders of the Craven Bank in Skipton, Yorkshire (along with William and John Birkbeck, William Alcock, Joseph Smith and William Lawson). John had been practicing as a solicitor in Richmond and entered banking ‘through his accommodation of the clients of his practice’. [vii] The new banking partnership ‘helped to join in one credit area the small towns in the Craven District with which their families had been traditionally associated and in which they had pioneered rudimentary banking facilities – the Birkbecks of Settle, the Alcocks of Skipton, the Pearts of Grassington and the Lawsons of Giggleswick.” John Peart remained a partner in Craven’s Bank until 1835, during which time they acquired the assets of Chippendale, Netherwood and Carr (the Skipton Bank). He was succeeded by his son in law, William Robinson V.

The ‘Peart’ surname would later be adopted as an unofficial family surname.



William V and Jane’s eldest son William Robinson VI was born at Settle, Yorkshire, and christened in Giggleswick on 8th May 1823. He later succeeded as a partner of Craven Bank and lived at Reedley Bank, near Burnley, Lancashire. He married to Essex-born Elizabeth Allen (1839-1882), daughter of Reverend John Allen, who was Vicar of the Lancashire churches of St. Michael's, Clitheroe, and Salford, in succession. Elizabeth’s mother Eleanor Allen (1798-1870) was a daughter of Reverend Dr. Thomas Drake (1745-1819), Vicar of Rochdale, Lancs, from 1790 to 1819, by his wife Eleanor Dobyn Yate. William VI died on 23rd April 1881, aged 57, at Cheadle, Cheshire. That same year, the Craven banking firm was incorporated as the Craven Bank Limited. As Skipton had then become the chief town in the Craven District, the Head Office was moved there from Settle.

Elizabeth Robinson died just over a year later on 1st May 1882 at St Leonard’s on Sea in Sussex. They had at least seven children, Peart Robinson (1861-1938), Jane Constance Robinson (1863-1875), John Gorges Robinson (1866-1919), Beatrice von Polenz (1870-1946), Mary Robinson (1870-1933), Madeleine Barrett (1872-1916) and Esmond Robinson, all of whom are dealt with in more detail below.


William V and Jane’s second son the Rev. John Robinson was a clergyman and married Catherine Harrison. He may have been responsible for the building of new schools at Settle which were later to become the pride of his kinsman, John Gorges Robinson. Catherine died in Sidmouth on 22 Feb 1878. The Rev. John died at Rosebank, Sidmouth, on 11 January 1886. They left no known children. The Leeds Mercury reported on his will on Friday 19 March 1886 as follows:

We recently recorded the death, at Sidmnouth, of the Rev. John Robinson, M.A., a native of Settle, whose first curacy was that of Wortley, near Leeds, and subsequently incumbent of Langcliffe, near Settle. The will of the deceased gentleman has now been proved in the District Registry at Exeter by Mr. George Robinson, banker, Skipton; Mr. Henry Robinson, solicitor, Blackburn; and Miss Harrison,of Sidmouth, the executors and executrix. The personal estate is sworn under £101,807. Amongst the many charitable bequests contained in the testamentary disposition is one of £5,000 to Messrs. John Birkbeck, junior, Wm. Geo. Perfect, and Chas. Hy. Charlesworth, friends of the deceased, and John Gorges Robinson, his nephew, upon trust, to invest such sum, and apply the income therefrom; and the whole or part of the capital if thought desirable by a majority in number of the trustees for the time being, in or towards the endowment of alms- houses or otherwise for the benefit of the aged and infirm poor in the old parish of Giggleswick. To the trustees of Settle Church a pecuniary legacy of £500 is bequeathed by way of increasing the endowment fund of that church. The sum of £200 is also set apart towards the restoration or improvement of the Giggleswick parish church, such sum to be laid out and applied, at the discretion of the executors, within 21 years of the death of the testator.


William VI and Elizabeth’s eldest son was William Peart Robinson, known as Peart Robinson. In 1881, he succeeded his late father as a partner of the Craven Bank. On 14th July 1885, 24-year-old Peart was presented to the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) by the Lord Mayor of London at a Levee at St. James’s Palace.[viii] Just under a year later, he was conferred with a BA at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.[ix]

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Advertisement from the 'Guide to the West Indies, Madeira, Mexico, Northern South-America etc',
published by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, 1845.

On 12th January 1887, William Peart Robinson ‘of Settle and Reedley Bank, Burnley’ was married at the British Embassy in Paris to Edith Mary Radley, known to the family as Mamie, and later as Gaggy. Mamie, whose father had died two years earlier, was a granddaughter of the hotelier James Radley (1802-1863), who came to prominence in 1826 when he converted two 18th century townhouses on the site of Liverpool's former Ranelagh Gardens into the Adelphi Hotel which became one of the most celebrated hotels in Europe. [I assume he was the James Radley of 1, Strand Street, Liverpool, who, in 1824, operated ‘The Earl of Bridgewater’, a steam packet which sailed daily (twice daily in summer) from George’s Dock, Liverpool, to Ellesmere Point, from where passengers were conveyed by ‘new canal packet’ to Chester.] Charles Dickens and US President James Buchanan were among those who stayed at the Adelphi. ‘Mr James Radley … was the model of a keeper of a hostelry,’ recalled Sir James Allanson Picton in his “Memorials of Liverpool”, Vol. II, p. 207 (Longmans, Green & Co., 1875). ‘Polite and easy in his manners, gifted with a nice tact which enabled him to adapt himself to every situation, and endowed with a rare talent for organisation, he soon rendered his house the most popular hotel in Liverpool, and extended its fame far and wide. He gradually added house to house, until he had absorbed the entire site of the old Ranelagh House. After his decease the business was disposed of to a joint stock company, who have made alterations, and who it, is hoped, will not allow the ancient fame of the house to lose its lustre.’

Worryingly, Radley's turtle soup was apparently 'the envy of Londoners.' The hotel had its own purpose-built slaughterhouse for edible turtles which were imported from the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico - once had a , like my old friend. There were apparently up to 250 kept in a special aquarium on site. I am reminded of my birthday treat in 2001 when my sister and some friends took me out on a boat ride fin the Gulf of Mexico. At the bow of the ship was a Mexican fellow who kept leaping off the boat to try and catch turtles. He eventually caught one, a 40 pounder he reckoned to be about 30 years old, and made as to heave the poor bewildered bugger on board. Up until the 1990s, they were catching and killing upwards of 3000 turtles a week on this coast so we were quick to say "No!" and cast it back down to the deep. I imagine that turtle is still trying to convince his friends and family that he was once briefly abuducted by aliens.

James Radley had one son James Radley junior and a daughter Mary Anne who married Sir William Hardman. However, the Radley family - assumed to be his brothers and / or cousins - developed extensive hotel interests across Britain and Ireland during the early Victorian Age. George Radley (1791-1851) ran Radley's New London Hotel which stood on New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, London, from at least the 1830s, while John Radley, a nephew of both James and George, ran Radley's Hotel on College Green, Dublin (see picture), as well as being Managing Director of the Gresham Hotel after its sale by Thomas Gresham in 1865. [a] The other (Cork-centric) directors of the Gresham at this time were Sir John Arnott of Woodlands, Cork, as well as Charles Cantillon, Francis Lyons, Victor Beare Fitzgibbon, James Lombarde, George Humphreys and Patrick J Forde. Also of possible relevance is Edward Radley (1826-1904) of the Belgrave Mansions Company who opened Radley’s Hotel, Southampton, immediately opposite the Railway Terminus and Docks, Southampton ‘for the accommodation of Families and Gentlemen proceeding to, or arriving from, the West Indies, Madeira or South America.' [b]

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Above: James Radley senior's only daughter Dame Mary Ann Radley (1829-1917) was also Mamie Peart-Robinson's aunt. She was married on 5 December 1855
at Edgehill to Sir William Hardman, QC, MA, barrister- at-law, of Burnley, Lancashire. (The Gentleman's Magazine, W. Pickering, 1856). Educated at Trinity College
Cambridge, William Hardman (pictured right) was 'for many years' the Editor of the Morning Post, as well as Chairman of the Surrey Sessions (1871) and the Court
of General Assessment, and recorder of Kingston-on-Thames. The Hardmans had two daughters. Sir William considered himself "a very old friend” of Charles
Dickens's wife Catherine. After the Dickens' seperation, Sir William wrote of Dickens: "As a writer, i admire him; as a man, I despise him.' (See here)


James Radley senior died after what his son-in-law Sir William Hardman described as 'a long and painful illness' on 23 June 1863. 'He passed away, as if in deep sleep, in his daughter's arms about seven o'clock in the evening. She begged me to let her be present at the funeral, and, knowing her calm self-possession, I consented willingly. He was buried in the St. James's Cemetery, Liverpool. The funeral was very private, although upwards of a hundred gentlemen voluntarily attended as a mark of respect on their own account. Poor fellow, he was held in high esteem in Liverpool. My wife and her brother are his only children and I don't mind telling you, entre nous, that he has left Mary Anne a very handsome fortune.' [It is observed that ... it was very unusual for ladies at this date to attend funerals; it was an emotional, sentimental period for women, and they were supposed to be liable to make "scenes" on occasions of this sort.' From 'The Letters & Memoirs of Sir William Hardman', London: Cecil Palmer, 1925].

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Above: On 4 November 1834, the Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent informed its readers that John Radley had taken over the Hotel, Tavern and Coffee House of Dublin's Commercial Buildings at 11 College
(where the Central Bank now stands), which he opened as Radley's Hotel. John formerly managed Radley's New London Hotel. He was a nephew of both George and James Radley, and a cousin of Edith 'Mamie'
Peart Robinson. John's wife was called Mary Anne and appears to have died in 1845.

According to Archiseek, the fine but austere seven-bay three-storey granite building of Radley's Hotel was completed in 1799 to a design by Edward Park. It stood at the corner of Dame Street and
Trinity Street, on the old Fownes Court, and included a very handsome pedestrian shortcut through the building and courtyard to Cope Street in London. In 1805, it became a meeting place for the Ouzel Galley
which dealt with ship insurance and arbitration, and later became a part of Dublin Chamber of Commerce. The beautiful hotel was pulled down to make way for what I would deem an eyesore but others might
like, namely the Central Bank of Ireland, built by Sam Stephenson in 1975. The bank was built higher than planning permission allowed but this was retrospectively rectified.

Radley’s was frequented by students and staff of the University of Dublin and it was there that the university boating club, the Pembroke Club, was founded in 1836. When High Sheriff Tomlinson’s first official
dinner was held in Radley’s, musical elements featured between toasts, which were more generally patriotic. Radley’s also hosted the Hibernian Catch Club for regular evenings of dinner and music; the latter,
performed by the vicars choral, consisted of glees, catches, madrigals and part-songs which were ‘often of a ribald nature quite foreign to their professional duties.’ [b]

(Thanks to Belinda Evangelista).


Above: Extracted from the Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent, Tuesday 04 November 1834.

In March 2017, Mary Ellis, a granddaughter of Peart Robinson, recalled how Peart kept a room (or possibly a suite) booked in the Adelphi, where he stayed whenever he went to Liverpool to do business as director, and at one point chairman, of the Bank of Liverpool / Martins Bank. And well he might given that his late father-in-law once owned the place. This may also explain why my grandparents Rathdonnell honeymooned in Liverpool - my grandmother Pamela was also Peart Robinson's graddaughter - while my father observed: 'On the few occasions I/we have been in the Adelphi, I had no idea we might have any "pull" there!' In 1864 the Adelphi Hotel was bought by the Liverpool Adelphi Hotel Company Ltd, incorporated in 1862, with Mamie's father James Radley junior (1832-1879) of St. Helen’s and Liverpool listed as one of five directors (along with Thomas Jenkinson, William Henry Higgins, John Bigham and chairman R. G. Hamilton). The Adelphi sale was presumably to enable James Radley junior to raise money for his other interests. The newly-married James Jr is also assumed to have kept a large stake in the Hotel. Back in the 1851 census, James Radley junior was described as a 19-year-old 'broker', i.e. not working in his father's hotel business. By the time of the 1861 census, James was described as 29, head of household at the Adelphi Hotel, single and 'copper smelter'. He ran the Pocket Nook Smelting Works, in Saint Helen's. According to the histories of Lancashire, copper smelting was a major occupation around St. Helen's (with the Lancashire coal fields close by, and importing ore by boat (being conveniently, like Liverpool, on the shore) initially from the North Wales mines. When these supplies were exhausted, the ore had to come from further away, possibly South Wales or overseas.

London Gazette, February 4, 1859: Notice is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Alexander Robertson Arrott [former manager of the nearby Union Plate Glassworks] and James Radley the younger, as Copper Smelters, at Saint Helen's in the county of Lancaster, under the firm of the Pocket Nook Smelting Company, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. All debts owing by or to the late partnership, will be paid and received by the undersigned, James Radley the younger. Dated this 1st day of February, 1859. Signed by A. R. Arrott and James Radley, Jr.

He was also involved with the invention of Radley's Patent Rotary Cooking Apparatus. (See this link on Wistorical for an image of Radley's Hotel, Dublin, and be sure to check the comments below).

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Above: James Radley, thrice
Mayor of St Helen's.

[I am presently confused as to where James Radley (c. 1810-1885), the St Helen's industrialist, fits in. He was proprietor of the Nut Grove, Lea Green, and Sutton Heath collieries (situated midway between Manchester and Liverpool, and adjoin the London and North-Western Railway) as well as various mine and a brickworks. In 1873, the Sutton Heath Colliery had two pits and was situated at the corner of Eltonhead Road and Sutton Heath Road. In about 1875 he sank the Lee Green Pit in Lowfield Lane where some 550 men worked. an An alderman of the borough of St. Helens, he was elected mayor of St Helen's three times in succession from 1873-1876. In that capacity, he capacity opened the new town hall in 1876 (completed at a cost of £30,000), presented a massive gold chain of office to the corporation, and a public clock, which was placed in the tower of the parish church. Upon his death on 28 March 1885 James Radley's widow Fanny Prescott briefly owned the colliery before apparently selling it onto the newly created Sutton Heath & Lee Green Collieries Ltd. circa 1890. According to his obituary in the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 4 April 1885, 'he resided at Dunnow Hall, near Clitheroe, but returned to St. Helens four years since, and took Sherdley Hall, where he resided at the time of his death. He was well known by coalowners throughout the county.' James and Fanny Radley were the parents of the racing driver and aviation pioneer James Radley (1884-1959) as well as Honora C. Radley (b. 1881). James was born at Dunnow Hall, Slaidburn, Yorkshire, twhere his father had taken a 14-year lease of Dunnow, with shooting rights on part of the Slaidburn Estate, from William Wilkinson in 1877 for a rent of £400 per annum. James won the 1913 Österreichische Alpenfahrt, one of the earliest motor rallies, when he and his business manager, Reginald Hope, drove a Silver Ghost from London to Vienna, via Paris, the Alps and the Dolomites. Click here for more on James the pilot as well as his Rolls Royce exploits here or the Silver Ghost here. One wonders was this the family connection that made Johnny Drew such a boy racer? And for more on James the colliery owner, click here]

The Radley surname would be passed onto Peart and Edith’s grandson Anthony Radley Drew, who would also make his mark on Dublin hotels, albeit in a rather more questionable way!

Mamie's mother Mary Elizabeth Radley (1839-1921) was a daughter of Dr William Stewart Trench, MD, (1809-1877) of Liverpool, a celebrated doctor whose obituary appears in the footnotes below.[x] He was the elder brother to Daniel Power Trench (1813-1884), both sons of William Power Trench (1771-1848), Archdeacon of Kilfenora in Ireland, by his wife Janet Trench (nee Stewart) (1783-1864). The archdeacon was a son of Frederick Trench and Elizabeth Eyre.

NB: Liverpool got its water supply when the reservoir at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales, was opened in 1888. The first large stone-built dam in the United Kingdom, it was built partly out of great blocks of Welsh slate. Ally and I lunched there with the girls and the Dennisons when we visited Powys in August 2018; Grainne Dennison said it reminded her of Darien Point, where the “leading lights” of Swallow and Amazons took place.

James Radley and Mary Trench were married in 1863. They lived at 14 Bedford Street South, Liverpool, and then moved to nearby 4 Abercromby Square. As well as Edith Mary (perhaps born 1866, married 1887), their children were James Trench Radley (bapt 28 Nov 1865, left Rugby School in 1883, attended St John's College, Oxford, attained BA in 1889 but died in November 1893); Edward Yelf Radley (b. 28 Apr 1867); Charles Poole Radley (b. 1 Jun 1868, married, divorced, no children); Harold Yelf Radley (b. 12 Dec 1873) and Cecilia Yelf Radley (b.prob 6 Jan 1877.)

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Above: New of the Radley/Peart-Robinson
wedding in the Burnley Express,
15 January 1887.

Family legend holds that Edith Radley went to study music in East Germany and met Peart on a train on the way to or from Dresden where Peart’s sister Beatrice von Polenz (see below) lived. According to Angela Peart-Robinson, Edith and her mother Mrs. M. E. Radley were in Germany for the winter season when their train made an unscheduled stop in the middle of nowhere. When Mrs. Radley enquired what was happening, she and was told that an English Milord had telegraphed for the train to stop and pick him up. Peart duly came along to apologize for inconveniencing the ladies and Edith batter here eyelids appreciatively. Mrs. Radley evidently reckoned Peart was an extremely good bet and lo 17-year-old Edith was married in Paris.

On 10th May 1888, the new Mrs. Peart Robinson, was presented to Queen Victoria by lady Hardman in her Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace.[xi] Ten weeks later, Peart was appointed a director of the Craven Bank in the place of William Alcock.[xii] 1889 also brought civic duties as he was appointed JP for Lancashire in 1889 and for Westmoreland in 1915).

By now, the impetus of the Industrial Revolution was waning. Three of the Craven Bank directors joined the board of the Bank of Liverpool—Peart, Samuel Catlow and Arthur Slingsby— and for a time R. H. Gardner, Superintendent of Branches, lived in Skipton and organised the new Craven District. In 1906, following the amalgamation of the Bank of Liverpool with the Craven Bank, of which he was a director, Peart became a director of the Bank of Liverpool Limited, and was later on the board of directors of Martins Limited, and its successor Martins Bank Limited.[xiii] But in and around Skipton one will still hear the Bank referred to as the Craven Bank to this day. Mary Ellis has two of the original Craven Bank notes in her possession.

Peart and Edith lived at Reedley Hall, Lancashire, the house built by William Robinson VI, where their daughter Dorothy was born in 1890. [xiv] Seven children followed – Sylvia, Esmond, Dorothy, Ivo, Vivian, Aubyn and Angela. The boys were educated at Eton and Wellington, while the three girls were educated at home by governesses, although Sylvia may have gone to Paris or Germany, possibly to study art and music with the von Polenzes in Dresden.

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Above: The mariage of William Peart Robinson and Edith Radley, 1887.

The photograph and the following caption was kindly supplied by Richard Ellis in May 2014.

Back (L-R): The bridesmaids Adelaide & Beatrice Robinson (or vice v), John Gorges Robinson (best man) or J Trench Radley (giving away),
Mrs Radley (m), John GR or JTR, Mrs Trench (gm), Radley bros (unless extreme r is JGR or JTR)

Sitting (L-R): Bridesmaid Miss Drysdale, WPR, Allen G Robinson train-bearer with Cecilia Yelf Radley, EMR.

Their family became known as the Peart Robinsons, to distinguish them from all the other Robinson families around Burnley. All of their children were baptized Peart so that they could be called, e.g. Angela Peart Robinson, without formally altering the surname. Most ceased using the Peart name after the family moved south. Their daughter Sylvia, or E.S.D., never used the Peart name after her marriage to Jack Drew which caused havoc with the lawyers when she was signing a will in the 1950’s and had to sign her full name. She automatically wrote ‘Robinson’ rather than ‘Drew once she had got to Peart!

From about 1910, or shortly after Sylvia and Jack Drew’s wedding, they took a lease of the old Wilson family home of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, Westmoreland. The owner was still a minor. Dallam Tower was built in 1720 by Daniel Wilson, and the Wilson family have owned the house ever since. In 1892, the Wilson family were tragically wiped out by flu, within two weeks of each other, all signing each other’s death certificates. They left Dallam Tower to their cousin Sir Maurice Bromley- Wilson who at the time was a minor. Sir Maurice travelled a lot and from time to time Dallam Tower, which was rather a big house to live in alone, was leased out between 1900 and 1940. According to the Dallam archives, the Peart-Robinsons also appear to have rented Dallam Tower between 1919 to 1923. One of their letters refers to a special tree in the garden which Peart appears to have felled without permission. When the Dallam lease ran out, the family moved to Hyning, Carnforth, but, finding it not to their liking, they then moved down to London.

In May 1937, Peart resigned his seat as a director of Martin’s Bank ‘feeling that he could no longer give that close attention to the bank which he had so long maintained’. The board recorded ‘their appreciation of his highly valued services’ in The Times of 19th January 1938. Two months later, on 15th March, the 76-year-old banker passed away at 71 Victoria Road, London.[xv]

I presume he is the same W. Peart Robinson listed as author of ‘The customs union question’ and ‘The Burning Question’?


[a] George Radley (1791-1851), Hotel Keeper of New Bridge Street, City of London, died in Southampton on 16 June 1851, aged 60. Brother George’s death was mourned in The Freemasons' Quarterly of 1851 (p. 201) while his will, dated 28 July 1851 is held by The National Archives, Kew (PROB 11/2136/338)

[b] Edward Radley was listed as a director of the Belgrave Mansions Company in 'The Joint Stock Companies Directory' published by Charles Barker & Sons in 1867. "Mr. Edward Radley, of Tan-y-bryn, Foxgrove-road, Beckenham, and of Radley’s Hotel, Southampton, hotel proprietor, who died on August 10 last, aged 70 years, left estate of the gross value of £10,371 7s. 6d., including personalty valued at [unclear] net, and probate of his will, dated March *th, 19*4, has been granted to his widow, Mrs. Martha Ellen Ridley, his son Mr. Percy Edward Radley, tea planter, both of Tan-y-bryn, and Mr. Stanley Carr, of Whitelea, May-field-road, Sanderstead, Surrey, stockjobber. He bequeathed a legacy of £10,000 to his said wife, and directed that £300 (pare of this sum) shall be paid to her as speedily as possible after his decease. He also bequeathed to her the proceeds of two policies of insurance on his life effected with the Scottish Widows Fund Life Assurance Society, for £993 19s. and £1000 respectively, and he bequeathed also to her his household effects and the lease of his residence. He left £2000 each to his three sons, Percy Edward, Walter Leonard, and Louis Henry Radley, and £5000 to each of his two daughters, Ellen wife of Mr. Cecil Edward Barker, and Mabel, wife of Mr. Stanley Carr. He also left £9000 to be held in trust to his three sons, the interest to be paid to them for ten years on the expiration of which time the capital sum is to be shared by them or their issue. He left the residue of his estate in trust for his wife for life with remainder to his son Percy, as to his moiety, and he left the other moiety in equal shares to his sons Walter Leonard and Louis Henry Radley." [London Standard, August 26, 1904] See also details on Family Search. With thanks to Belinda Evangelista.

[b] ‘The Use of Newspapers as a Source for Musicological Research: A Case Study of Dublin Musical Life 1840–44’ by Catherine Ferris, thesis, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, April 2011.


Peart's oldest sister Jane Constance Robinson was born in 1863 but died aged 12 in the second quarter of 1875 and was buried in Burnley.



William VI and Elizabeth’s second son John Gorges Robinson, BA, JP, was born in 1866 and educated at Rugby and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. As his descendant Hugo Brown noted in an email to me in April 2014, 'he seems to have an abiding interest in geology.' FRS. In 1886 he was a beneficiary of the will of his uncle, the Rev. John Robinson, MA, of Settle. The following year he stood as best man when his brother Peart marrried Edith Radley. It is notable that a Miss Drysdale was a bridesmaid at the wedding, see photograph above ... could that have been his soon-to-be-wife Nella?

On the 31st July 1889 he was married amid considerable pomp in the church at St Luke’s, Bold Street, Liverpool, to Nella (Ellen Cochrane) Drysdale, the youngest daughter of Dr John James Drysdale, MD Edin., of Pittenchar, Fifeshire, Scotland.[1] Dr. Drysdale (1816–1890), a pioneering homeopathic surgeon, was a son of Sir William Drysdale, formerly Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and had studied in Edinburgh under James young Simpson, the chloroform pioneer of 1846. His social circle included Darwin and Dickens. He practised in Rodney Street, Liverpool for 45 years. He was the author of several scientific works, and president of several scientific societies. As Hugo Brown observes (and follow the very useful link): 'The Drysdale family were, frankly, extraordinary. They were the founders of the Malthusian League, homeopathists, advocates of birth control, eugenics and free love. Well connected though, and in correspondence with Charles Darwin etc.' Dr Drysdale even attended to James Maybrock, one of the suspects in the Jack the Ripper trial.
Dr Drysdale was already living between Pittenchar and Rodney-street when he married Emily North on 12 June 1866.[2] She was the eldest daughter of John North (c. 1801-1877) of Stonebark House, New Brighton, Cheshire, and his wife Ellen Haworth of Wallasey, Cheshire. John North was Treasurer and Secretary of the Liverpool Ship Owners Association in 1846 and went on to be Solicitor to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board from at least 1854 to at least 1865; by 1870 he had united to form Simpson & North, practicing from 1 Rumford Street, Liverpool, and he died at Wallasey, aged 76, in 1877.
Emily's oldest brother was Sir Ford North (1830-1913), a High Court judge in London. Her third brother Henry North was christened at St Catherine's, Liverpool, in 1856, worked as a London Merchant / Broker and was married in Wallasey on 12 January 1864 to Adah Mann, second daughter of William Mann, Esq., of Liscard, Cheshire. [3] When Adah died in 1869, he left their two children Lowry William North (born 1866, later moved to New Zealand) and Ellen North (christened 1865) with family and friends and went to the USA. Emily also had brothers Arthur John North (who may have gone to New York) and Frederic (1831-1910, christened at St Catherine's).[4]
A telegram published in the Gloucester Citizen on Saturday 20 August 1892 announced the 'DEATH OF DR. DRYSDALE', noting that he had died 'early this morning ... at his own residence, Beachlawn, Waterloo.' He was 75 years of age and 'had been in ailing health for some time.' Emily survived him by nearly twenty years, succumbing on 15 November 1901 at 1, Cavendish-terrace, Prince's Park, Liverpool, aged 77.[5] The doctor left a small fortune to his son William, as outlined a generation later in the Liverpool Evening Express, 17 August 1942: 'FORTUNE FOR FLYING OFFICER Mr. William Drysdale, of Lansdown-crescent, Bath, son of the late Dr. John J. Drysdale, of Liverpool, left gross estate, "so far as at present can ascertained," £88,692, and net personalty £83,613 (estate duty £21,894). After legacies to his sisters, he left his share and interest in his late father’s estate and half the residue of the property to his nephew Flight-Lieut. John M. Drysdale, R.A.F.' It is not yet clear how many sisters Nella but Eva Mary Alice Drysdale, the doctor’s second daughter, was married in 1888 to Charles Edward Bewsher.[6] Nella also had a sister Sussanah who was christened in 1839 at St Catherine's.

[1] Dundee Advertiser, Saturday 3 August 1889. The service was conducted by the Rev. R. D. H. Gray, Vicar of Chatburn.
[2] Morning Post, Saturday 16 June 1866. The wedding at St. James's, New Brighton was conducted by the Rev. J. North, M.A. The newspaper erroneously called the house 'Lonebark'. John and Ellen were married in 1828 at St Marys Walton-on-the-hill, Lancashire
[3] Morning Advertiser - Friday 15 January 1864.The service was conducted by the Rev. John Graham, B.C.L.
[4] Details via emails from Christine Wright, 27-30 January 2017.
[5] Bedfordshire Mercury, Friday 25 November 1910.
[6] London Evening Standard of 12 May 1888 - ‘10 May at St. Luke's Church. Liverpool, by the Rev. A. E. Barnes-Lawrence, M.A., incumbent, Charles Edward, eldest son of the Rev. C. W. Bewsher, rector of Postling, Kent, to Eva Mary Alice, second daughter of J. J. Drysdale, M.D.'

Nella was born in Liverpool in 1867 or 1868. She and John initially lived at Cragdale (or Cragside), Settle, a house that their great-grandson Hugo Brown describes as 'a largish Regency house, with additions to bring it up to a standard, but of no great architectural distinction.' John was closely allied to Settle’s Music Hall (later Victoria Hall), established in 1853. He was also 'a keen governor' of Giggleswick School, and Hugo rightly wonders 'to what extent did the building of the extraordinary chapel there inspire him when commissioning The Hoo.' (See below) His acquaintances included Professor Percy Fry Kendall, DSc.

In 1905 John Gorges Robinson was interviewed by police in regard to an alleged hit and run in Markyate, a village in north-west Hertfordshire, that resulted ina fatality. As the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer reported on Friday 21 April 1905: ‘THE MOTOR PERIL - THE FATAL RUNNING DOWN CASE NEAR DUNSTABLE - CAR STILL UNIDENTIFIED. A Dunstable correspondent The identity of the motor which killed child at Markyate on Thursday evening has not yet been discovered. The clue, which was regarded as promising bythe police, has turned out a disappointment. A lad took the number of a car which passed through Markyate about the time of the disaster, but the owner of the car, Mr. John Gorges Robinson, of Settle, and 31, North Audley Street, London, stated atthe inquest yesterday that neither nor his driver was near Markyate on Tuesday. Tho boy who saw the car also admitted that Mr. Robinson's car did not resemble the one he noticed at Markyaate. In adjourning the inquest until May 1, the Coroner said it would be necessary for Mr. Robinson and his driver to attend. A witness who called out to the driver to stop said the latter must have seen the child in the road, but he was going too fast to avoid him. He seemed to increase his speed after the accident.'

John Gorges Robinson was present at the of wedding of his niece Edith Sylvia Peart Robinson and John Malcom Drew in 1909.

On the 29th September 1914 John Gorges Robinson bought part of the main St Catherine’s Estate at Windermere from Lady Mabel Kenyon-Slaney, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Bradford, who had died in 1898. The estate had been brought as an occasional holiday residence for the 2nd Earl of Bradford and his wife in 1831. It is also thought to have accommodated a notable herd of Soay sheep in the 19th century. In any event, John now became owner of St Catherine’s house as well as places such as Low Hagg Wood, Rawes Green, High Haggs, Browhead Spring, and the Cottage and buildings at the Crosses.

Meanwhile, John Gorges Robinson earned his place in the annals of the Arts and Craft movement when he commissioned architect Arthur O Breeds, FSI, of Portugal Street, London (and formerly of at 62, Lincoln's Inn Fields, W.C.), to design a new house for him just south of the St Catherine's Estate on Ambleside Road, which boasts exceptional views over Lake Windermere and the mountains. The house was called 'The Hoo' and, according to Andrew Critchley, who now lives there, it is ‘a fascinating Arts and Crafts house – of an amazing Arts and Crafts standard - that fortunately has retained many original features - it's easy to imagine you are back in 1913!’ Hugo Brown, a great-grandson of JGR, explains that 'because he suffered from severe asthma, they built a monster bungalow in Windermere called ‘The Hoo’. It was designed with his asthma in mind, and the sloping site allowed the ‘services’ to be located on the ground floor and for the entrance and the main floor to be located above - so stairs were not an issue. There was a Music Room containing two grand pianos (last heard of in a school in Devon) and a harp, and my father remembers long corridors with a great deal of parquet flooring. There were also garages as my great-grandfather was an early adopter of the motor car.' And why call it The Hoo? Hugo observes that the name, ‘Hoo’ is very particular to Estuarine landscapes in Suffolk and Kent, such as Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, where the 2021 Netflicks film 'The Dig' is set, located on a high ridge with a glimpses of the river Deben down below. Does that translate, given The Hoo's wonderful setting with Windermere in the distance? There is an owl on an old Arts and Crafts weather vane over the top of the porch at The Hoo, while an owl also figured on the design plans ... a symbol of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom? But also, too-wit, to-hoo perhaps?

The original plans for the Hoo from 1913 are still in the Kendal Town Archives; they even had a room dedicating to housing the cutting edge vacuum cleaner and a ‘Photography Room’. (As Hugo notes: 'Cars and photography were a particular obsession, as were caves and rocks.') It is not yet known who actually built The Hoo, but Hugo believes Charles Voysey was also an influence. Arthur O Breeds was a member of The British Numismatic Society at that time. His works include the Presbyterian Church (now known as The Broadway Church) at the end of Princes Avenue, Muswell Hill, north London which was built in 1898, as well as the nearby Baptist Church. [One wonders if this stirred the architecural interest of Aubyn Robertson, who would play such a crucial role in the restructuring of Lisnavagh, or indeed of his cousin, Pamela Rathdonnell]

Mr Critchley adds: ‘The Robinson's must have been great advocates of the Arts and Crafts movement. One of the original features is a wonderful bespoke Hall Wardrobe by Arthur Simpson of Kendal. Simpson was one of the great Arts and Crafts designer craftsmen of the era (e.g. created all the woodwork at Blackwell - the finest example of Arts and Crafts in the country).' Among the surviving furniture from the Hoo is a mainly late 19th/early 20th century painted or inlaid satinwood, plus a few pieces in the Japanese style, and a tall oak bookcase in the Arts and Crafts style, possibly by Simpson. As Andrew Critchley observes: 'The author Hugh Wright recently found in the Arthur Simpson ledger that Ellen Robinson (ie: Nella) ordered three pieces of Simpson furniture in October 1934: a bookcase in Tasmanian Silky Oak 9748, a folding table in Cuban mahogany x431 and an occasional table in brown oak 9901. So her interest must have continued until at least that time.’

John and Ellen lived at ‘The Hoo’ with their two daughters Margery and Jessica while the empty house at St Catherine’s was alternatively used as a studio or rented out in the 1920s and 1930s. John Gorges Robinson died at The Hoo on 3rd June 1919.

Ellen Robinson ordered the main house and kitchen range at at St Catherine’s to be demolished at some point between 1928 and 1935. Apparently she 'feared that the empty house would be used by tramps and had it demolished whilst the rest of the family were on holiday wintering in France', meaning their home in Menton. Upon her death in 1952, the estate passed to her formidable eldest daughter Jessica Gorges Robinson, who was born in 1898 at Hanover Square, London. In 1925, Jessica married Edward (Edwin?) Ferreira, with whom she had a son, Christopher. In 1954 Jessica and Edwin Ferreira moved to St Catherine’s and lived above the stables; by 1955 they were living in a bungalow they built on Gatelands field, surrounded by 'dripping rhododendrons', as Hugo Browne recalls. The Ferreiras had a son, Christopher, who remembers hay making in the parkland in the 1950s, and at this time Jessica Ferreira owned a small herd of Jersey cows which were housed in the stables. She was also involved at Low Tilberthwaite Farm. The Ferreiras marriage did not survive. Upon Jessica's death in 1987, she left the remainder of the estate to the National Trust who now own and rent out her bungalow. The old tennis court is still there, but now has a tree in the middle of it! Further details of the St Catherine's Estate, including some excellent photographs, can be found here.

Victoria Margery Robinson, the younger sister, was born in 1901 and is presumed to have been educated by governesses before studying at Somerville, Oxford. She then trained to be a doctor at Kings College, London. She was a fellow of the Royal Society of Anaesthetists, and practised as a GP in Devon. She married George Stephenson Brown of Keswick and passed away in 1993. They had two children - Michael David Meredith Brown (b.1936, went to Christ Church, became a solicitor. father of Hugo) and Elizabeth Mary Violet, called Gina (b.1940).

The Hoo was divided into 3 separate private residences in the 1970's, being ideally located for wealthy Mancunians. The original garage is also now a residence.


The reason Peart and edith met in Germany may have been connected to Peart’s sister Beatrice Robinson who was born on 5th December 1868 and educated (probably in music) at the Conservatory, Wroclaw, Poland. In 1888, she was married at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, London, to the German novelist Wilhelm Christoph von Polenz (1861-1903). His father Julius von Polenz (1825-1890) was sometime Chamberlain to the King of Saxony, his mother was Clara von Wechmar and his brother was Benno von Polenz (1865-1928), a local government administrator. Wilhelm was educated in Dresden and then, at his father’s request, studied law at he Universities of Breslau, Berlin and Leipzig, at all times preferring the arts. By the time of his marriage to Beatrice, he had embarked on his career as a writer, and his friends included the writers Heinrich and Julius Hart, Gerhart Hauptmann, Otto Erich Hartleben and Hermann Conradi . In 1890, the year his father died [check], he published his first novel, "Atonement." Four years later, he moved to the family manor of Ober Cunewalde, near Dresden. Impressed by the naturalism and the works of Émile Zola and Tolstoy , with whom he enjoyed a friendly exchange of letters, he produced his most famous novel "The Büttner Bauer" (1893), a contemporary tale of peasant life regarded as one of the most important epic works of naturalism. In 1902 he went to the USA and penned the essay "America, The Land of the Future" (1903). He died in Bautzen on 13th November that same year, aged 42, from cancer. His death was reported in the New York Times.

In September 2016 I was kindly contacted by a gentlemen who had recently bought a second hand book from Amazon entitled ‘Prayers and Promises’, published by The Religious Tract Society. Inside was an inscription written by Beatrice von Polenz that reads: “To Clara Kirk with best wishes from Beatrice von Polenz. Skipton Castle March 10. 1912.” The 1911 census for England and Wales shows Clara Kirk to have been a parlour-maid at Skipton Castle, Yorkshire, to the Bell family who lived there at the time.

Beatrice, or 'Aunt Beattie', died circa 1946, shortly after the war, at Bautzen, Saxony, Germany. Apparently she was rarely discussed by her English releatives who felt so guilty that she had effectively starved to death in post-war Germany and was not allowed out because her British passport had expired.

They had two sons, George Helmut von Polenz (b. 1891) and Wilhelm Erich von Polenz (1895-1991, graduated with a Doctor Jurisprudence, lived at Bautzen) and two daughters, Marie Helene von Polenz (b. 1890) and Clara Beatrice von Polenz (b. 1896).

[With thanks to Nicholas Rowe]


Peart’s next sister Mary Adelaide was born in Burnley in 1870. She married her cousin Dixon Robinson who was born on 16th May 1869, possibly in Blackburn. They had a son, William Eric Dixon Robinson (of whom more shortly) and two daughters who died unmarried, namely Elizabeth Constance Dixon Robinson (4 Sept 1902 – 1980) and Rosamund Dixon Robinson (30 Nov 1908 – 1986). Mary Adelaide died on 11th November 1933, while her husband Dixon died in Hempsted six months later on 30th April 1934.

Their son William Eric Dixon Robinson was born on 3rd September 1900, married Nellie Watson (1906-1984) and died in July 1973. Their daughter Elizabeth Jane Dixon Robinson was born on 2nd December 1937, married John Bland and has three children in Australia (Joanna Jane Bland, b. 1962; Stuart John Elwen Bland, b. 1964; Peter John Bland, b. 1968). William and Nellie’s son Dixon Robinson married Jennifer Purvis and has two sons Andrew Dixon Robinson (b. 1969) and Timothy Dixon Robinson (b. 1973).


Peart’s third sister (Frances) Madeleine Robinson was born at Burnley on 27th May 1872. She was married on 12th January 1893 to Robert Bell Barrett, JP (1856-26 April 1938) of Gosforth, Northumberland, agent to Lord Hothfield at Skipton Castle, North Yorkshire. He was the second son and fourth child of Captain Samuel Goodin Barrett (1812-1872), Perthshire Militia, by his wife Susanna Maria (nee Bell, of Newbiggen Cumberland). Madeleine died on 24th February 1916.

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Above: Dorothy Peart Robinson who married Geoffrey Sherston.

Robert and Madeleine Bell Barrett had four children. Their firstborn was a daughter, born in Skipton in 1893 and christened Monica Dulcibella Barrett. Following the death of her first cousin Dorothy Sherston (nee Peart Robinson, see below), Monica then married the widowed Captain Geoffrey Sherston. Like her cousin Sylvia Drew, Monica created a handsome day-book between 1923 and 1927 which her step-grandson Kasper de Graaf has posted online as his contributions to 'The Heirloom Project', entitled 'Book'.

She died in August 1980. Their son Captain John Geoffrey Sherston died in 2000 and left a daughter Lucinda.

Robert and Madeleine’s son Captain Robin Coventry Barrett was born on 14th Feb 1895 and educated at Cambridge. He was a chartered surveyor. On 18th June 1924, he married Dorothy Winifred Assheton, daughter of Sir Ralph Cockayne Assheton, 1st Bt, a senior figure on Lancashire County Council and Lord of the Manor of Downham. Sir Ralph’s wife Mildred Estelle Sybella Master was the daughter of an East India Company man. Dorothy’s sister Mary Monica Assheton was married to Captain Peter Fleetwood-Hesketh, architectural correspondent for the Daily Telegraph between 1964 and 1967.

Robert and Madeleine’s younger children were Harry Eden Barrett and Vera Doris Madeline Barrett (b. c. 1890) who married Captain Anthony Milburn.


Peart’s youngest brother Edmond Allen Robinson was born on 30th September 1872 and married Kate Blacker. We know no more yet.

The Times | June 26, 1923
Married Women's Tax. TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES. Sir,-The Prime Minister in his speech to the Rhodes Scholars at Oxford defined, the characteristic of the English-speaking peoples to be a love of justice. He has now as Chancellor of the Exchequer an opportunity of proving this by removing the injustice to married women of taxing them at a higher rate than the unmarried, in spite of their having heavier financial and other responsibilities. When the Married Woman's Property Act was passed no corresponding amendment was made in the Income-Tax Act recognizing the fact that a married woman's income is an individual income which it was not at the time of the passing of the Income-Tax Act. The injustice was admitted by Mr. Lloyd George when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, but defended on the ground that the removal of the injustice would involve raising the in- come-tax. A woman's income for income-tax purposes should be what she possesses in her own right, and not by gift from her husband, and the machinery since devised for taxing gifts among living persons (dona intcr vivos) should enable the Treasury to avoid any loss through the attempt of married persons to equalize their incomes, a course which could only appeal to a small minority.
Yours faithfully,
Hyning, Carnforth, June 24.


Peart and Edith Robinsons’ eldest son William Esmond Peart Robinson was born in Liverpool on 5th December 1891 and educated at Eton.[xvi] He served with the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry during the war, joining up in 1909.[xvii] On Christmas Day 1913, the 22-year-old married Gladys Dora, daughter of the late William Joseph Pattinson Shewen, of Hessingham. In June 1918, The London Gazette reported: ‘Lt. (actg. Capt.) W. E. Peart-Robinson (Yeo., T.F.) relinquishes the acting rank of Capt. on ceasing to be employed with the Corps. 27 May 1918.’ It is believed Esmond passed away on 23 August 1972, as the Ellis’s have a reference in their mother's handwriting which states that this was the "date of inheritance".

IVO ROBINSON (1897 – 1950s)

Peart and Edith Robinsons’ second son Captain Ivo Peart Robinson, King’s Own Royal Regt, was born in Burnley on 30th June 1897. He was educated at Eton and the RMC Sandhurst. On 10th July 1918, he was married firstly to Kathleen Evans, daughter of Lloyd Evans, who bore him a daughter at Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, on 9th September 1921, whom they named Dorothy. It looks like he and Kathleen were divorced and he married secondly Norah Mary Hunter. [xix] Ivo passed away on 2nd August 1950, at which time his registered address was 83 Montpelier, Cheltenham. His executors were his daughter Mrs. Dorothy Peart Freeman and a Mrs. Mamie Helen Bird. Norah Robinson died in Gloucester on 21st November 1948.

His daughter Dorothy Peart Robinson was married in 1944 to Captain Alfred Francis Freeman, MC, who became a Brigadier in the Royal Corps of Signals. [xx] Born in Woolwich on 24th March 1916, he attended the Imperial Service College (1930-1934) before joining the Royal Signals at the RMA Woolwich. He became a lieutenant in 1939 and saw action in France and Belgium with the 7th Guards Brigade in 1939-1940. His role was to manage the despatch riders and he won the Military Cross in 1940. ('Images of War: Motorcycles at War', by Gavin Birch). He was promoted to Captain in 1944, serving in North West Europe 1944-1945, and being mentioned in Despatches in 1945. He was assigned to South East Asia Command from 1945 to 1946. In 1949, he was promoted to Major, joining the 1st Commonwealth Division Signals Korea in 1953. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and then Colonel in 1962 and Brigadier in 1966 while HQ'd at the Singapore Base. He was Chief Signals Officer of the Northern Command. He died on 15 October 1992, leaving an estate valued at £499,267 net. (from The Independant). The Freemans lived at Upper Brailes, Warwickshire, where Dorothy passed away in July 2010. She is survived by Frank, Sue, Nigel and Judi.



Peart and Edith Robinsons’ third son Allen Vivian Peart Robinson was born on 30th July 1899 at Burnley, Lancashire. He was land agent for the Duke of Wellington’s estates (including the Wolverton and Wellington estates, but not property in London) from 1948 to 1967, succeeding Alex Lee (of Hawett & Lee) and being succeeded by C. Scott in 1967. He lived at Cottrells near Stratfield Saye House, the large stately home which has been the home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817. Vivian died aged 80, ‘peacefully’ at Basingstoke District Hospital on 4th September 1978.[xviii]

AUBYN ROBINSON (1902-1984)

Peart and Edith Robinsons’ fourth and youngest son Aubyn Peart Robinson was born in Burnley on 18th July 1902 and educated at Wellington and Cambridge. He was an architect, noted for his work on the restructuring of Lisnavagh House, County Carlow, Ireland, with his cousin Pamela Rathdonnell. The Drew sisters referred to Auby and his brother Esmonde as "Awful" and "Awkward", not sure which was which, after whom my father named the two South Devon X Shorthorn bulls that he bred in 1980s. He died on 19th August 1985, after a short illness, at Mount Alvernia Hospital, Guildford, Surrey. [xxi]

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Peart and Edith Robinsons’ second daughter Dorothy Peart Robinson was born in Liverpool in 1893. On July 29th 1918, The Times announced her engagement to Captain Geoffrey W. Sherston, MC (1891-1946), a Wellington-educated Grand National jockey serving with the Rifle Brigade. Geoffrey was the second son of Lt.-Col. John Sherston. D.S.O., Rifle Brigade, who was killed in action in the Boer War, aged 42. This being a small world, John was a grandson of Major Hamilton Maxwell by his marriage to Isabella Bunbury, the mother of Lord Roberts. At the time of the wedding, Geoffrey’s widowed mother Alice Sherston (nee Bamfield) lived at the Red Cottage, Farnham Common.

Dorothy and Geoffrey’s wedding took place at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, on the afternoon of Wednesday 21st August 1918. Peart Robinson gave his daughter away while the same the Rev. John Huxley who had presided over his marriage to Edith in Paris in the 1880s officiated. The Rev. Huxley was by now Vicar of St. Mark's, Norwich. The Times further noted: “The bridesmaids were Miss Monica Barrett and Miss Angela and Miss Betty Robinson. Colonel Porter, D.S.O., 60th Rifles, was best man. Among those present at the church, and afterwards at the Hotel Jules, were:-Mrs. Sherston, Mrs. Peart Robinson, Lady Roberts and Lady Edwina Lewin, Sir Ian and Lady Hamilton, Colonel Pollen, Colonel Ridgeway, VC., Colonel Cape, Sir John Hewett, Mrs. F. Robinson, Mrs. Dixon Robinson, Commander and Mrs. Spencer-Cooper, Commander Hugh Taylor, Lady Bisset, Mrs. W Garnett, General Cockburn, and many others.”[xxii]

On 1st March 1920, she had a daughter, Dorothy, better known as the extraordinary Dutch SOE operative Door de Graaf, who died on 2nd January 2011. [For more on Door, see her obituary from the Telegraph here]. In October 2011, I was delighted to be contacted for the first time by Door's son Kasper de Graaf who came upon this webpage through the power of Google - such are the joys of our small world.

However, just two days after Door's birth, Dorothea Sherston succumbed to puerperal fever. Geoffrey soon remarried Monica Barrett, his wife’s first cousin, who had been a bridesmaid at their wedding. Geoffrey was later agent for the Zetland estates.

Click here for a portrait of Dorothy Peart Robinson by Guy Lipscombe.

The Times | November 9, 1940: MR. J. L.. EBERLE. R.N.V.R., AND Miss SHERSTON The engagement is announced between Sub- Lieutenant John Leonard Eberle, R.N.V.R., younger son of Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Eberle, of Wick' House. Easton-in-Gordano, Somerset, and Dorothy, eldest daughter of Captain R. W. Sherston, M.C., late Ritlc Brigade, of Olliver, Richmond, Yorkshire, and, granddaughter of the late Mr. W. Peart Robinson, of 71, Victoria Road, Kensington, London, W.8.

ANGELA ELLIS (1904 - 1991)

Peart and Edith’s youngest daughter Angela Peart Robinson was born at Reedley Hall on 2 June 1904. In 1937, she married acclaimed orthopaedic surgeon Valentine Herbert Ellis, son of Major-General P. M. Ellis, A.M.S. He died suddenly in September 1953, leaving a son Richard and daughter Mary. He was honoured with a considerable obituary in the British Medical Journal.[xxiii]

SYLVIA DREW (1887-1970)

Peart and Edith’s eldest daughter Edith Sylvia Peart Robinson was born on 13th November 1887 in Liverpool at her grandmother’s house in Abercrombie Square, it being customary in the Victorian Age for a bride to return to her mother for the birth of her first child. As well as Governesses at Reedley Hall, it is belied she studied art and music in Paris or Gerany, possibly with her von Polenz relatives in Dresden.

On 5th August 1909, the 22-year-old married 27-year-old Jack Drew (1881-1933) of Lower House, Burnley. Her father Peart Robinson was based at of Reedley Hall, Burnley, at this time. Her sister Angela, who was a bridesmaid, had many stories about the wedding, such as the grown up bridesmaids' dresses which all came from Lucille, an incredibly smart Edwardian London dressmaker. Angela, Aubyn and Vivian also developed ringworm on the eve of the wedding, supposedly from trying on the hats which had been sent on approval from London. They had to have their heads shaved as soon as the wedding was over.

Jack, or John Malcolm Drew, was born on 8th November 1881, probably at Lowerhouse. He was the second of three children born to Daniel Drew, JP, a calico printer based in Burnley, and his wife Rhoda (nee Appleby, 1851-1919). Rhoda’s father was Joseph Appelby, a wealthy flour magnate from the Blackburn region. There is a fascinating collection of photographs from the 1890s detailing the Appelby's various (and colossal) mills at Blackburn, Enfield, Bootle and Bridgewater. There are shots of the various chimney stacks "From the North", "From the South" or "From a Meadow". There are also some clever images of the whole bleaching-drying-stacking-dyeing process. It all looks suitably industrial and Lancastrian. There were very close ties between the Appebys and the Rileys: Rhoda's mother was Mary Ann Riley and it is thought she was a sister of Samuel Riley, a wealthy clothing manufacturer, who was married to Joseph's sister Jane Appleby. The Rileys were based at Lawns House, Farnley. (Thanks to Wendy Howard).

Jack Drew’s elder sister Margery married John Oscar Sillem in 1912 and died without children in 1923 at the age of 43. Jack’s only brother Alan Appleby Drew was killed while fighting with the Scottish Rifles at the battle of Neuve Chappelle in March 1915, aged 31. I have visited his grave and I own his hairbrush.

Jack was educated at Charterhouse (Gownboys), leaving in 1900 to study at Yorkshire College in Leeds. He then joined the family firm of Alexander Drew & Sons (Calico-Printers & Shippers). According to the album, he and Sylvia were living in their first home at Ighten, Grange, Burnley, by the time the "Charterhouse register, 1872-1910" was compiled in 1910. They later lived at Lower House for a while, then moved into Burnley and finally settled at Eversley in Milnthorpe. He served as a JP in 1917.

Jack and Sylvia (E.S.D.) had five children – Pamela (later Lady Rathdonnell, my grandmother), Diana, John, Hermione and Anthony. Sylvia beautifully catalogued two decades of family life in the build up and aftermath of the Great War, wonderfully interwoven with her own watercolours, dinner menus, invitations, electoral posters, theatrical card sheets and other memorabilia from this romantic age. Sylvia died in January 1970. She was responsible for making the albums which used to sit on a table in the bay window in the drawing room at High Leasghyll, so that nieces, grandchildren and others could spend happy hours looking through them. An article I wrote about these wonderful albums appeared in the September 2011 edition of ‘The World of Interiors’.

Shortly before her passing in 2016, Rosebud told Ally that Sylvia Drew started her mornings with a bottle of Guinness at 11:00 AM. She would drink half of it, with some milk, and then she would finish the rest of it at lunchtime.




With thanks to Mary Ellis, Tom Robinson, Colette Higgins-Keane (Estate Secretary, Dallam Tower Estate), Mrs. Susie Villiers-Smith (Dallam Tower Estate Office), Lord Rathdonnell, Andrew Critchley, Kasper de Graaf, Hugo Brown (grandson of Victoria Marjorie Robinson), Dermot Daly, Christine Wright and Jonathan Snowden (Martins Bank Archive).


[i] The Surrender and Regrant took place in the Halmot Court of the Forest of Pendle, manor of Ightenhill. It is recorded in papers held by the National Archives DDX 1637/7/1

[ii] Sarah was the daughter of William Dawson of Halton Gill, Yorkshire by his wife Elizabeth Bouch, the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Bouch, Rector of Whittington.

William and Elizabeth married 3 Jan 1709/10 at Whittington. (Source: Remains, Historical and Literary, connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester, pub Chetham Society. Whittington parish register, transcript at http://www.lan-opc.org.uk).
Sarah Dawson was baptised at Halton Gill chapel 4 Jan 1714/15 (Source: family tree and IGI p007201)

"Michael Bouche 1st recorded of the line whose son Anthony 1599-1672 was sheriff of Cumberland. The Rev Thomas Bouche will dated 1714 and youngest son of Anthony Bouche and Rector of Whittington, seems to have been the last male heir, Rector of Whittington" (Armorial for Cumberland, Frederick James Field, 1937, Google books copy read at Brit Lib.). Not yet sure whether Rev Thomas Bouch is the son of the sheriff or whether there is a generation in between the wording is not clear. Her mother was Vigesima Jackson (chr 6 sept 1657 at Whittington) the daughter of the previous Rector, Rev Richard Jackson, son of William Jackson mercer of Kirkby Lonsdale. Vigesima was the dau of Richard's 2nd wife Jane Carter 26 Jan 1647 618. (“Whittington parish register,” www.parishthethought.us/whitM1.doc.)

[iii] See www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=055-ddx1637&cid=-1#-1

[iv] See J Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis vol. III (1891), and the Nowell pedigree in T D Whitaker, The History and Antiquities of the Deanery of Craven, vol. II (1878), p.556.

[v] Matilda Robinson’s will is dated 30 Aug. 1853, with codicil dated 19 Apr. 1856. Dixon Robinson died on 21 July 1878 at Clitheroe, Lancashire.


[vii] http://www.martinsbank.co.uk/11-90-70%20Grassington.htm

[viii] The Times | July 14, 1885. By command of the Queen a Levee was held yesterday afternoon at St. James's Palace by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on behalf of Her Majesty. Mr. Peart Robinson [was presented to the Prince], by the Lord Mayor, M.P.

[ix] The Times | July 5, 1886. Oxford: A congregation was held on Thursday morning in the Sheldonian Theatre, at which the following degrees were conferred … and it refers to William Peart Robinson’s BA.

[x] The Times | January 21, 1887. On Wednesday, the 12th inst, at the British Embassy, Paris, by the Rev. John Huxley, of Southwell, WILLIAM PEART ROBINSON of Settle, and Reedley Bank, Burnley to EDITH MARY, daughter of the late JAMES RADLEY, of St. Helen’s and Liverpool, and granddaughter of the late William Stewart Trench. M.D.. of Liverpool. (We had the Trench family tree which I gifted to my housemaster John Chenevix Trench).


DR. W. S. TRENCH was born in Jamaica, and came, early in life, to this country to be educated. He subsequently entered the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated as M.D. in I831, and, in the same year, became L.R.C.S. Edin. In addition to his medical training when passing through the University, Dr. Trench exhibited considerable proficiency both in mathematics and classics, the former of which he subsequently found of great service when medical officer of health. On the completion of his academical career, he returned to Jamaica, and commenced practice in Kingston, which he continued for some time, acquiring a considerable reputation. The climate of Jamaica, however, not suiting him, he returned to England; and, soon after his arrival, establishing himself in Liverpool, he obtained a very lucrative practice.

In I862, on the death of Dr. Duncan, Dr. Trench was elected medical officer of health for the borough of Liverpool. The year of his appointment was that one known as the " cotton famine" period. The distress produced among the Liverpool dock-labourers was aggravated by the influx into the port of large numbers of men in search of work. The lower parts of the town became densely crowded, and typhus fever raged with great violence. Under Dr. Trench's direction, steps were taken which fortunately tended to the decrease of the epidemic.

In 1866, the town was visited by another epidemric of typhus, followed shortly afterwards by a visitation of cholera. The steamer Helvetia arriving in Liverpool with cholera on board, Dr. Trench insisted on the vessel being removed to the quarantine portion of the river, and the transferring of the passengers to a hospital-ship.

The following are some of the improvements which occurred under Dr. Trench's directions:

1. The removal of middens and the substitution of water-closets;
2. The removal of tunnel-middens, which ran under the houses and were frequently not emptied for years;
3. The registering of sublet lodging-houses, so as to prevent overcrowding;
4. Extending house-to-house visitation by sanitary inspectors;
5. The establishment of houses for the disinfection of clothing; and the disinfecting of houses in which fever had occurred.

Besides these, may be noticed the total abolition of cesspools; the prevention of the establishment of noxious manufactures in the vicinity of inhabited houses; the almost total prevention of intramural interments; the erection of abattoirs under local control; the widening of streets, and the erection of baths, washhouses, etc.

For more on Dr. Trench, see Rita Scott’s article ‘Dr William Stewart Trench, Medical Officer of Health for Liverpool, 1863-1876: From Middens to WCS.’ Medical Historian - The Bulletin of the Liverpool Medical History Society’, Number 13 - 2002-2003, p. 12-21.

He was married at Mt.Pleasant, Jamaica, on 5 Apr 1837 to Mary Anne Poole. The Poole family might be shippers, possibly working from Liverpool.

[xi] The Times | May 10, 1888. The Drawing Room. Her Majesty the Queen held a Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace yesterday afternoon, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and the Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, attended by the Rt Hon. Mrs. Stopford and Colonel G. G. Gordon were present. Mrs. Peart Robinson, was presented by Lady Hardman.

[xii] The Times | July 21, 1888. Mr. William Alcock, in consequence of his having ceased to reside in the district has tendered his resignation as a director of the [Craven Bank], and in his place the directors have appointed Mr. William Peart Robinson.

[xiii] Volume Two of "Four Centuries of Banking" (Martins Bank, pub Batsford Books 1968, now out of print but found regularly on Ebay) contains an entire section on the history of the Craven Bank, its directors, and the role they played when their bank was amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool in 1906. A summary follows below:

“Like Barclays, Martins developed from a London goldsmith’s business - the first Martin partner was Thomas in 1703. Its customers were commercial rather than personal. Despite a serious ‘run’ on its reserves in 1890 during the Baring crisis Martins survived and became a limited company in 1891. It began to expand as a clearing bank with a few branches, but its main development came after 1918 when it amalgamated with the Bank of Liverpool - founded in 1831 as one of the first English joint-stock banks. Thereafter expansion was rapid. By 1926 there were 378 branches, but only 28 were in London and the south. Head Office (rebuilt 1932), remained at Water Street in Liverpool (Martins was unique in this respect), and 68 Lombard Street (rebuilt 1930), became the principal London office. Foreign exchange was an important part of the Bank's business at this time, especially in the industrial north where goods were imported and exported on a large scale.

Martins strengthened its position further in the north of England by acquiring the Lancashire & Yorkshire Bank in 1928. Steady expansion across the country followed, despite falling profits during the Depression, so that by 1939 there were 570 branches. World War II brought Martins the honour of storing Britain's gold reserves in the Liverpool strong rooms. During the 50s and 60s Martins gained a reputation as a modern innovative bank, moving into hire purchase in 1958 by acquiring Mercantile Credit, matching the ‘swinging’ mood of the 60s in its advertising. Martins was the first UK bank to look into using, and then to commission a COMPUTER for bank book keeping purposes. Martins was also the first bank to install a CASH MACHINE in the North of England. The other interesting acquisition in 1958 was the business of Lewis's department store bank, another Liverpool enterprise started in 1928 and with branches in all the Lewis's shops and at London Selfridges.

The official COAT OF ARMS of Martins Bank combined the golden grasshopper, representing the original Martins partners in Lombard Street, with the liver bird representing the Bank of Liverpool.

[xiv] The original Dallam Tower, a pele-tower, was built c.1375, and "stood just in front of the present tower, at the foot of the steps, about 20 yards beyond the public road, and looked down the river towards Whitbarrow Scar". It was enclosed c.1546 in a new house, but the whole was evidently demolished in 1720-3, when the present house was built.” The present house is set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland on the banks of the river Bela, boasting magnificent gardens and a glass panelled orangery. It is not open to the public but has been used frequently for charitable events.

See: Map of the Lake District, showing Dallam Tower, published in A Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, 1839.

See: New Map of the District of the Lakes, in Westmorland, Cumberland, and Lancashire, scale about 4 miles to 1 inch, by Jonathan Otley, engraved by J and G Menzies, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, published by J Otley, Keswick, Cumberland now Cumbria, 1818; published 1818 to 1850s.

[xv] The Times | January 19, 1938. In May last, Mr. Peart Robinson, feeling that he could no longer give that close attention to the bank which he had so long maintained, resigned. He joined the board as far back as 1906 on the amalgamation with the Craven Bank, of which he was a director. The board record their appreciation of his highly valued services.

The Times | March 15, 1938. ROBINSON.-On March It. 1938. at 71. Victoria Road. Kensington. WILLIAM PEART ROBINSON. late Director of Martins Bank. aged 76. Funeral private. No flowers.

[xvi] W.E. Peart Robinson was registered in Liverpool in 1892.


[xviii] See the Wellington Estate Collection.

The Times | September 5, 1978. ROBINSON.-On 4th September peacefully. In Basingstoke District Hospital. Vivian Peart Robinson of Cottrells, Heckfield. Hants. In his 80th yr. Funeral service private. No flowers or letters, please.

[xix] See: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=7&CATID=-3120895&FullDetails=True&j=1&Gsm=2008-08-08

Also: In December 1920, Mrs Peart Robinson placed an advertisement in The Times seeking a second housemaid of three for Dallam Tower.

The Times | September 16, 1921. PEART ROBINSON.-On the 9th Sept., at Dallam Tower. Milnthorpe, Westmorland, the wife of CAPTAIN IVO PEART-ROBINSON, of a daughter.

[xx] See Kelly’s Handbook, Vol. 95, 1969.

[xxi] The Times | August 21, 1985. ROBINSON. - On 19th August 198S. after a short illness. Aubyn Peart Robinson. architect. Funeral private. No flowers but donations may be send to: Mount Alvernia Hospital. Guildford.

[xxii] The Times | July 29, 1918. The marriage arranged between Captain G. W. Sherston, M.10, Rifle Brigade, and Miss Dorothy Peart Robinson will take place at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, on Wednesday, August 21, at 2.30. No invitations will be sent, but all friends will be welcome at the church and afterwards at Jules Hotel, Jermyn St.

The Times | August 22, 1918. MARRIAGES. CAPTAIN SHERSTON AND MISS ROBINSON. The marriage of Captain Geoffrey Sherston, M.C., Rifle Brigade, and Miss Dorothy Peart Robinson, younger daughter of Mr. W. Peart Robinson of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe, who gave away the bride, took place yesterday at St. James's Church, Piccadilly. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. John Huxley. The bridesmaids were Miss Monica Barrett and Miss Angela and Miss Betty Robinson. Colonel Porter, D.S.O., 60th Rifles, was best man. Among those present at the church, and afterwards at the Hotel Jules, were:-Mrs. Sherston, Mrs. Peart Robinson, Lady Roberts and Lady Edwina Lewin, Sir Ian and Lady Hamilton, Colonel Pollen, Colonel Ridgeway, VC., Colonel Cape, Sir John Hewett, Mrs. F. Robinson, Mrs. Dixon Robinson, Commander and Mrs. Spencer-Cooper, Commander Hugh Taylor, Lady Bisset, Mrs. W Garnett, General Cockburn, and many others.

The Times | August 27, 1918. SHERSTON: PEART ROBINSON.-On the 21st Aug. at St. James's Church. Piccadilly, by the Rev. John Huxley, Vicar of St. Mark's, Norwich. Captain Geoffrey Sherston, MC, Ride Brigade, second son of the late Lt.-Col. John Sherston. D.S.O.. Rifle Brigade, and Mrs. Sherston, the Red Cottage, Farnhan Common, to Dorothy, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Peart Robinson of Dallam Tower, Milnthorpe.


As Tom Robinson puts it, the ownership of this property, occupied by the Robinsons, was in dispute. Sir Thomas had mortgaged the property for £100, but failed to pay interest or the capital back, so Robinson for-closed and took the property. However while John Robinson was seeking legal advice about Raydale in London, Sir Thomas attempted to take the house by force. Mrs Robinson escaped to York where she recruited her nephew Nicholas Assheton. A transcript of the ensuing siege, taken from Nicholas Assherton’s journal follows:

June 4th. This evening came Sir Tho. Medcalfe wth 40 menn, or thereabouts, at sunsett, or after, to Raydll House, in Wensladale, wth gunns, abt half a score bills, picks, swords, and other warlike p'vision, and besett the house, where was my aunt Robinson and 8 of her little children, wch went forth shutting ye dore. My aunt left ye children, and went to Sir Tho. desyring to know the meaning of that force; if for possession of the house and land, and by what authoritie ; and if better than her husband's, whoe was now at London, she would avoyde wth all hers quietlie. Hee answered, that hee would not soe much satisfie her : his will was his law, or authoritie for that tyme : soe they would not suffer her to goe into the house for her stockings and head-dressing and shoes, wch shee wanted, but shee was forced to goe a long myle, wth her little children, to a towne called Buske, and thence a foote to Morton, two miles thence. — This nyght was the house shott at manie tymes and entered, but rescued. Sr Arthur Daykins ? 2 justices, shee could get no reamedie ; but went to York, duble-horsed, to ye Councell. Shee left in Raydall House 3 of her sonnes, Jo., Wm., & Rob. Robinson, and 7 servants and retaynors ; one Thorn. Yorke, of Knaresbor', a boy newly come wth a lre, and 2 Sving maydes. These, wth great currage, mayntayned ye possession, in great danger, against a lawless, rude, and unrulie companie, desprate and graceless in their actions and intents.

A mess'r came to me with letres from Morton: found me at Downham ; and my aunt desired mee to come to assist her in that accon ; soe we resolv. to goe ye next Mon.

June 6. To Gisbume, Newsham, Hellifield, Swinden, Otterbume, Kirkby Malghdale; ther we drunk. Kettle well, then dyned; so to Tarbotte (Sharbotton), (*) Buckden Rake; first house in Morton: ther light and enquired and resolved to goe to Sr Tho. to Buske, to move him forbeare further violence. Soe to Buske : my ladie ther, but not hee : gone to Markett.(2) Found him drunk ; and some half a score, or therabouts, of his followers likewise. Ther met us one George Scarr, his mann, wth divers well furnished with weepons. This fellow being in drinke, gave us manie insolent respectless speeches ; such as, if hee or his companie had been sober, or we anie whit equall in numbers and pvision, we had not with such patience.

Neither colde we be suffered to goe to ye house to spake wth them; therfore we went back to Morton, quickening, to see Sr Tho. in the morning.

This evening abt sunsett or after, was shooting at ye house, and one Jas Hodgson, one of the rash barbarians of Sir Tho. coming upon ye house, was shott and slayne.

June 7. Noe speche to be had wth Sir Tho.; but my aunt came. Shee gave very few speeches to us ; but onl. that the Sargeaunt of Mace and Pursuivant were coming from Yorke, and shee went to Raydll House ; but in ye waye shee was stayed, and unmercifully used. Presently the Serj. and Purs, and Mr. Midlome, the justice of peace, came to Raydll ; and ther thos officers took Sir Tho. wth some five or six of his companie ; the rest dispersed, evy one a sundry waye, and went to the house and sett them at libtie.

Later he mentions going to the star chamber at London on behalf of his Robinson cousin.

The outcome is not clear now, but it seems Metcalfe got the property back but had to pay damages. Mr Robinson meanwhile died and it is thought that Mrs Robinson returned to her birthplace at Downham with some of the children.

According to another account, "They were resisted by Mrs. Robinson and her retainers, and the siege lasted for several days, during which two men were killed, and several injured. The defenders at last succeeded in getting a messenger through, who went for help, and the siege was raised in 1617. This act of felony immediately brought all the King’s horses and all the King’s men thundering down upon him. He was cited before the Star Chamber, and ordered to pay heavy fines and forfeit some of his lands. All this had the effect of considerably reducing the size of the original large Nappa Estate, as well as crippling it financially. Records state that “After a life of roystering hospitality, Sir Thomas died, leaving the family fortunes impoverished”, in 1655."


Mr. V. HI. Ellis died suddenly on September 15 at the early age of 52. He had collapsed from a cardiac attack after completing his usual morning's work in the fracture clinic at St. Mary's Hospital. His death has robbed orthopaedic surgeons of one of their wisest counsellors. Not only was fie among the foremost orthopaedic surgeons of the day; he was also a scholar with an unusually broad knowledge and with interests that ranged widely from finance to horticulture. His life was devoted to helping others, among whom his, patients received first consideration.

Valentine Herbert Ellis was born in India on February 24, 1901, the son of Major-General P. M. Ellis, A.M.S. He was educated at Wellington College and Clare College, Cambridge. Thence he went to St. George's Hospital, qualifying M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. in 1925. He became F.R.C.S. in 1928 and took the Cambridge B.Chir. three years later. After filling a number of junior appointments at his own hospital and elsewhere he decided on a career in orthopaedic surgery and went as surgical registrar to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

There he came under the stimulating influence of some of the most prominent orthopaedic men of the time- Elmslie, Laming Evans, Bankart, Trethowan.

Appointed to the staff of St. Mary's Hospital in 1932, when he was only 30 years old, he was the first to hold the post of orthopaedic surgeon there. With tireless

energy he set out to establish what has now become a leading orthopaedic and fracture department. He was soon appointed also to the staff of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, and later he held additional appointments at Paddington Green Children's Hospital, the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital at Alton, and the Heatherwood Orthopaedic Hospital at Ascot.

During the second world war he was in charge of the orthopaedic unit at the E.M.S. Hospital at Park Prewett, where many thousands of casualties flown direct from the battle fronts in Europe passed though his hands.

Despite the number of hospitals that he served, such were his energy and capacity for work that he was able to do full justice to each of his responsibilities. Indeed, it is doubtful whether any man could have been more punctilious in his regular attendance or more conscientious. In addition to these activities he found time also to make a considerable contribution, by his writings, to the advancement of orthopaedic surgery. He was joint author, with Mr. B. H. Burns, of Recent Advances in Orthopaedic Surgery, published in 1937, and he was a contributor to other authoritative books including Platt's Modern Trends in Orthopaedics, Handfield-Jones and Porrittfs Essentials of Modern Surgery, and Fleming's Penicillin. He had a special interest in the shoulder-joint, and had undertaken research into the value and indications of arthrography in the diagnosis of shoulder lesions. Earlier he had made a study of injuries of the cervical spine, from which he concluded that internal fixation by bone grafts was advisable in unstable fracture-dislocations.

A gifted teacher with clear ideas based on his own experience, he was nevertheless tolerant of the views of others, and he was seldom happier than when he was engaged in friendly discussion with his colleagues on some difficult problem.

Valentine Ellis will be remembered for his work on injuries of the neck and on disorders of the shoulder. But he will be remembered mainly, by those who knew him, for his sound common sense, his wise judgment, his kindly humanity, and his loyalty-qualities that commanded respect from all and endeared him to his colleagues and pupils.

He married, in 1937, Angela Peart Robinson, and his family life formed a happy background to his work. He leaves a widow with a son and a daughter.-J. C. A.

R. W. J. writes : After a preliminary warning some months ago, we have lost Valentine Herbert Ellis, whom most of us knew as Gustav and some few as Val. He was not always easy to know, but the more you did know of him the more you wanted to know him. It is to my own great regret that I did not know still more of this great individualist, this deep thinker, this man who behind the scenes exerted such influence on the British editorial board of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and on the British Orthopaedic Association, of which he was quite certainly destined to be president within a few years.

He was a critic. He was always thoughtful. He had wide knowledge. His merits were best shown at quiet after dinner meetings such as those of the W. Little Club, when the few select members presented their problems. He was always the dutiful secretary and recorder; his comments were earnest and faithful; and beneath the crust he was a very great friend indeed. We offer our deep sympathies to his wife Angela, and to his young son and daughter, Richard and Mary.

British Medical Journal, SEPT. 26, 1953, p .730.