Dewsall Court is not the most impressive of the country houses in Herefordshire, but it is lovely and has survived the years since it was first built in the 17th century by Richard Pearle in spite of an application to knock it down in the mid twentieth century.

Henry James Brydges

The Pearle family lived in the Court for over a hundred years, one of the descendants being Henry James Brydges who was born in 1673 to Mary Pearle and Sir John Brydges. He became MP for Hereford, and then Paymaster of the Forces Abroad during the War of the Spanish Succession. By various means, Henry James Brydges amassed a large fortune equating to way over £50 million in today’s money. Sadly though, James was something of a spendthrift and also invested unwisely, resulting in an almost total loss of his fortunes in the South Sea Bubble financial crash and in 1731 all his estates including Dewsall were sold to Guys Hospital.

Sir Charles Clore

Guys sold Dewsall Estate to Sir Charles Clore in the mid 20th century, by which time it was in some disrepair, and once his application to demolish the building was refused he set about restoring it and then took occupation.

The family now periodically open it for Weddings etc.

 

Dewsall Court Household 1841 Census

 

Sarah Jenkins 80 Farmer
Ann Jenkins 65 Farmer
? Jenkins 58 Farmer
Margaret Addiss 51 Labourer
Mary Williams 22 Labourer
Ellen Johnston 17 Labourer
James Weaver 30 Bailiff
Samuel Loyd 26 Labourer
John Robin 18 Labourer
Richard Powell 17 Labourer
Richard Jenkins 15 Labourer
William Walters 10 Labourer
John Lane 35 Labourer
John Baker 23 Labourer

Guys Hospital Rent out Dewsall Court

In 1844 James Price was in residence

Peregrine Prince

During the mid 19th century the owner was Peregrine Prince but he himself lived at St. Nicholas, Hereford, renting Dewsall Court to farmers.    He was a keen breeder of cattle and sheep, and won prizes at such shows as The Smithfield

By 1859, Peregrine Prince decided to relinquish his agricultural pursuits, and put up for sale all the cattle, sheep etc. from the Dewsall Estate.

The next residents at Dewsall Court were the Morris family, and they were to remain for over 30 years.  Walter Morris, head of the household was elected a member of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1861 and was a very successful and relatively wealthy farmer.  He was kindly to his labourers, and was apt to give lavish dinners for them after the harvest had been successfully brought in.

Walter’s daughter, Mary Caroline, died of diphtheria aged just 17 whilst at Dinan, France

 

 

Dewsall Court Household and Servants 1871 census

 

Walter Morris 52 Farmer of 530 acres employing 12 men and 2 boys, b. Weston Beggard, Herefordshire
Walter William Morris 19 Son, Farmer, b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Frederick John Morris 17 Son b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Dorothy Ann Morris 22 Daughter b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Maria Elizabeth Morris 12 Daughter b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Amy  Gertrude Morris 9 Daughter b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Pearce 43 Governess, b. Bath
Eliza Damis 22 Servant b. Worcestershire
Sophia Powell 29 Servant, b. Herefordshire
William Damis 19 Servant b. Stoke Lacy

 

 

Dewsall Court Household and servants 1881 census

 

Walter Morris 68 Farmer of 528 acres employing 12 men and 2 boys, b. Herefordshire
Walter William Morris 28 Son b. Yazor, Herefordshire (died 7th May 1888 at Dewsall Court)
Arthur H. Morris 24 Son b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Maria E. Morris 21 Daughter b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Amy Gertrude Morris 18 Daughter b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Pearce 52 Companion, b. Somerset
Elizabeth King 27 Cook b. Herefordshire
Mary Sandford 21 Housemaid b. Herefordshire
John Morgan 20 Groom b. Callow, Herefordshire

 

 

Dewsall Court Household and Servants 1901 census

 

Arthur Morris 45 Farmer b. Yazor, Herefordshire
Edith Morris 31 Wife b. Prestbury, Cheshire
Walter A. Morris 2 Son b. Herefordshire
Frederick A. Morris 1 Son b. Herefordshire
Clara M. Dawes 24 Cook b. Belmont, Herefordshire
Ellen M. Knight 19 Nurse b. Ruardean, Gloucestershire
Farnham J. Moss 16 Groom b. Haywood, Herefordshire

 

These wonderful photographs have been kindly supplied by Arthur Henry Morris’s granddaughter, and I would ask that you do not use them without contacting me as permission will need to be sought.

This shows the occasion of her father’s Christening (Walter Andrew Morris) in 1898, and Arthur Henry Morris is standing behind his wife, Edith.

Amy Gertrude Morris (shown on the 1881 census) is the elegant lady holding the baby’s bootee.

 

 

 

Dewsall Court Morris 3

Edith Morris in front of Dewsall Court

 

Dewsall Court Morris 2