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Beesthorpe Hall Portrait of Thomas Bristowe - 1620~1680 Twyford Hall
Beesthorpe Hall
 
Thomas Bristowe
1620-1680
Twyford Hall
 

The Bristowe families of Maplebeck, Nottinghamshire and of Twyford, Derbyshire both had their origins in Maplebeck prior to the 14th century. The Twyford branch developing as a result of two brothers purchasing land in 1571 from the Earl of Shrewsbury and later acquiring and developing what is now Twyford Hall in the Parish of Twyford & Stenson. Meanwhile the Maplebeck family through marriage acquired numerous lands around Maplebeck including Beesthorpe Hall and the Grange Manor. Samuel Bristowe of Twyford in 1764 bought Beesthorpe Hall and its associated estates from his kinsman Thomas Bristowe and the ownership of lands at both Maplebeck and Twyford came back into one branch of the family. On Samuel's death in 1818, the extent of these lands was recorded in his Will and included Beesthorpe Hall and estates, Grange Manor and various lands and tenements at Caunton, Earlshaw, Hucknall, Kersall, Norwell, Norwell Woodhouse and Sutton in Ashfield; all in Nottinghamshire. Also, Twyford Hall and estates, and various lands and tenements at Findern and Repton; all in Derbyshire.

Associated with the Bristowes through marriage were notable families of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and other counties, including the Savage (Earl Rivers), Elston, Warryn, Fox, Fosbrooke, Darwin, Needham (Earl of Kilmorey), and Bridgeman (Earl of Bradford) families.

Bristowes have been Regarders (guardians) of Sherwood Forest, Sheriff of Nottingham, Barristers and County Court Judges, Member of Parliament for Newark and Director of Education for Nottinghamshire, amongst other deeds. Henry Fox Bristowe was Knighted in Queen Victoria's Jubilee Honours of 1887, and also held the office of Vice Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Many of the Bristowe sons received their education at Repton School in South Derbyshire, not far from Twyford. The earliest recorded Bristowe scholar at Repton School was Samuel of Twyford (1658~1703) who completed his schooling there in 1675. Painting of Avon Bank School - circa 1840Samuel Ellis Bristowe (1800~1855) commenced his studies at Repton School in 1808. William Bristowe (1809~1827) was a scholar at Repton, and two of Samuel Boteler Bristowe's sons, Charles and Frederick, are recorded as being there during the 1881 Census, while their elder brother Albert William had preceded them. Samuel Boteler's sister Anna Maria Bristowe is found as a pupil in the 1841 Census at the Avon Bank school for girls run by Maria Byerly, a neice of Josiah Wedgwood. This exclusive school for young ladies was located on the banks of the River Avon adjacent to Holy Trinity Church in the Parish of Old Stratford, about 1 mile west of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Genealogical information on these families has been compiled into the form of a Tree with the Maplebeck and Twyford branches separated. Some historical facts associated with various members of the families have been noted as space allows, but these snippets of history are only a small part of the intrigue and twists of fate that surrounded them. Examination of the genealogy pages (Sheets "A to D") will reveal that Samuel Bristowe (1736~1818) disinherited Samuel Bristowe (1766~1846), the eldest son of his brother Thomas, in favour of Samuel Ellis Bristowe, his great nephew.

This family may on the surface appear to have been moderately successful in attaining wealth and status, both through their own endeavours and good fortune in marriage. Though, in the 18th century, the management of their Nottinghamshire estates, with the exception of those years when Samuel Bristowe (1736~1818) had tenure, does not appear to have been outstanding. There was also a rather strained relationship between Samuel (1766~1846), the son of Thomas, and his uncle Samuel (1736~1818), who had inherited the estates but remained unmarried. This lead to the younger Samuel going to New York in 1795 and becoming involved in the trading activities run by a John Banks of that city. Through his association with that business, he met Eliza Ann Fox (née Banks), who had recently become widowed as a result of her husband, the captain of "The Betsy", losing his life along with the rest of his crew when their ship on a voyage to the West Indies was overcome by the remnants of a Tropical Storm that impacted on Cuba late in August 1794. In March of 1795, Eliza Ann Fox gave birth to Mary Ann Fox, the daughter and only child of her late husband Charles Gilbert Fox. Samuel and Eliza were married in 1797, and eventually returned to England with an ever growing family in 1810.

The US Federal Census of New York in 1800 records Samuel Bristowe as the head of a household in that city. While in New York, Samuel Bristowe (1766~1846) appears to have been successful in business. On the census night, in addition to Samuel and his wife Eliza Ann and their children, Eliza Welby, Samuel Ellis and Mary Ann Fox, there were 3 servants - 1 male and 2 female. Further information on the lives of the Bristowes can be found under various headings listed in the Index.

Sources of information have been numerous, and include the Nottingham Archives, Wills, and documentation of events left by various Bristowes. Special thanks to John B Chanter (a great-grandson of John Bristowe, 1811-1888) who researched and conceived the form of this tree, and to Pam Littlewood who has researched the Bristowe family during studies at the University of Nottingham.  Pam has also written and had published a short ghost story - "A Workhouse Prophecy", with a plot based around real and 'fictional' events at Beesthorpe Hall in the early part of the 19th century.

These web pages have been constructed by Barry Carlson (a great-great-grandson of Julia Wilhelmina Banks Bristowe, 1818-1911) as a project to ensure that those with links to, or with an interest in the history of the Bristowe families of the Counties of Nottingham and Derby can share in the results of the research.

Obituary: John Bernard Chanter died on 16th June 2004 at Bampton, Devon.  His research into the Bristowe families of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will live on in these web pages.

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