Beyond Wiltshire

Martha Davenport –The difficulty in Selling an Estate, The Complications of Inheritance and a Decree of Lunacy

on Thursday, 12 November 2015. Posted in Beyond Wiltshire

When Reverend Dr William Davenport (1725-1781) died he left his wife Martha (1720-1790) with his substantial debts. As well as her own finances Martha had to consider the inheritance due to their five children, including the care of two sons with mental health incapacities. The youngest son William (1763-1800) had been made heir to the Lacock estate by Martha’s brother, John Talbot (1691-1772) and was considered to have generous provision. The youngest daughter, Mary (1757-1793) was married to John Shakespear, but Barbara (1754-1812) the eldest daughter, was single as were the two sons Prideaux Sutton (1752-1807) the eldest son and John (1759-1809). Although Martha had been given a life interest in the Lacock estate in the will of her brother, John Talbot, she was acting as custodian for her son William.

Reverend William Davenport

 Reverend William Davenport

The East India Company

on Monday, 03 August 2015. Posted in Beyond Wiltshire

The Lacock Archives contains a huge amount of information concerning The East India Company due to the involvement of Henry Davenport who was based at Fort St. George with the Company.  Various documents, letters, journals and bills record his involvement in the East India Company concerning diamonds, pirates and treason.

Coat of Arms for The East India Company

The East India Company was founded to explore trade with India and South-East Asia.  In 1600 the Company received a Royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I awarding it a monopoly on trade between the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan.  During this period of time the East India Company was in constant competition with the Portuguese and Dutch Trading Companies.  This often led to conflict between the rival trade companies such as the naval Battle of Swally in 1612 where the East India Company defeated the Portuguese.

The Shropshire Connection

on Tuesday, 04 August 2015. Posted in Beyond Wiltshire

The Lacock Estate spreads beyond the boundaries of Wiltshire and can be discovered far to the north in the county of Shropshire.  Like many great estates this was due to the marriage of different families.  The Davenport family owned various lands in Shropshire, including the manor of Worfield (north of Bridgnorth), due to the marriage of William Davenport and Jane Bromley.  The manor in Worfield was eventually passed to their eldest son, Henry Davenport.  Henry Davenport built Davenport house at Worfield in 1726 which was designed by the architect, Francis Smith of Warwick.

Davenport House

Henry Davenport's son William by his second wife, Barbara Ivory, inherited the Lacock estate which meant that many of the deeds of Shropshire properties became part of the Lacock collection. Later Shropshire deeds would have been retained by Sharington Davenport and passed down through that line of the family.