Whitbourne court  has its origins in the 18th century when it was the manor house of the Bishop of Hereford, with additions over the following centuries, but there are some medieval features.   It was moated at one time, but some of it has now been filled in.

The Court lies some ten miles from Worcester on the Bromyard Road, bounded on one side by the River Teme.

In 1817 on the death of the long term owner Richard Chambers, (High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1792) Whitbourne Court was put up for auction, with the contents being sold off first.

“All the elegant and fashionable furniture, plate, bed and table linen, fine foreign china, rich cut glass, books, paintings, prints, wines, horses, carriages, live and dead farming stock, and other effects”.

The Court and Estate soon followed being described thus:

“Whitbourne Court Mansion House and Estate, comprising the capital mansion house, containing vaulted cellars;  a vestibule;  lofty breakfast, dining and drawing rooms of large dimensions;  numerous airy and roomy sleeping rooms, with dressing rooms, servants’ apartments of every denomination, detached from the other sleeping rooms and admirably arranging;  also capital coach houses, stables and outbuildings, recently erected and in complete repair;  beautiful fish ponds;  walled garden, fully cropped and clothed with fruit trees, shrubberies, plantations, lawn and pleasure ground, surrounding and adjoining the same, of great variety, beauty and extent, together with hop kilns, barns, stables and all other agricultural buildings arranged in very complete order.

In 1838 the second son of Richard Chambers’, Captain William chambers of the 13th Native Infantry, died of cholera at Whenadabad in the East Indies.

 

Charles Joseph La Trobe

 

There is a huge amount of detailed information about Charles Joseph La Trobe out there on the internet, and I therefore decided not to try to put my own two penneth in here, but will outline the bare bones as he spent some time at Whitbourne Court, as shown below.

Charles Joseph La Trobe was born 20th March 1801, and died 4th December 1875.  He was educated in Switzerland, and after a spell teaching in a Manchester school, he went back to Neuchatel in Switzerland as a tutor.

In 1835 he married Sophie Montmollin, one of the daughters of Frederic Auguste de Montmollin, a Swiss Councillor of State.

He was a keen mountaineer, and became a founder member of the Alpine Club;  he had many books published including some on his beloved mountains.  In 1837 the British Government sent Charles to the West Indies in connection with the campaign for the abolition of slavery, and in 1839 he became Superintendent of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, Australia.

Whilst Charles had had no military training, and little administrative experience, he was initially highly thought of, but his career was decidedly rocky and he earned many critics.  In 1852 he tried to resign his post, but was not actually allowed to leave until 1854 – his wife Sophie left Australia ahead of him as she had become unwell, and she died back at her family home in Switzerland in 1854.  Charles wasted little time, and the following year he married Sophie’s sister, Rose Isabelle de Meuron, a widow.  He had planned to write memoires of his Colonial Governorship but failing eyesight prevented him from carrying this out.  When he died, Rose went back to Switzerland and there she had built a small church as a permanent memorial to Charles.

 

Whitbourne Court Household 1861

Charles Joseph Latrobe Retired Civil Service Colonel 60 b. St. Andrews, London
Rose Isabella Latrobe Wife 39 b. Switzerland
Agnas Louisa Latrobe Daughter by 1st marriage 24 b. Switzerland
Eleanora Sophie Latrobe Daughter by 1st marriage 19 b. Melbourne, Australia
Charles Albert Latrobe Son by first marriage 15 b. Melbourne, Australia
Margaret Rose Latrobe Daughter 4 b. Addinton, Kent
Isabella Castellane Latrobe Daughter 2 b. Switzerland
Charlotte Louisa Latrobe Sister and fundholder 67 b. St. Andrews, London
Christine Wisser Head Nurse, Housekeeper 27 b. Wurtenburg, Germany
Dorothy Wisser Nurse 19 b. Wurtenburg, Germany
Dorothea Kilgus Cook 25 b. Wurtenburg, Germany
Agnes Elizabeth Ringrose Housemaid 22 b. Nottingham
William Biddle Groom 20 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Michael Harriman House Servant 14 b. Seagrave, Leicestershire

 

Whitbourne Court Household 1871

Arthur H. Cocks Pensioner Bengal Civil Service, Capt Worcs. Militia 51 b. Colwall, Herefordshire
Anna M.J. Cocks Wife 41 b. India
Henry L.S. Cocks Son 8
Arthur P. Cocks Son 6
Martha Seldon Nurse 37 b. Cornwall
Fanny Clements Cook 28 b. Worcestershire
Margaret Haycox Housemaid 20 b. Hopton Wafter, Salop
Eliza Pugh Housemaid 16 b. Salop
Ethel Stuart Reid Niece 16 b. India

Whitbourne Court Household 1881

Richard Harington Son, Undergraduate, Oxford 20 b. Hanwell Middlesex
Charles Harington Son, Scholar 18 b. Hanwell, Middlesex
John Harington Son, Scholar 7 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Frances C. Harington Scholar 6 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Ann Pingriff Housekeeper 46 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Jane Greenwood Cook 20 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Louisa Smith Laundry Maid 26 b. Much Birch, Herefordshire
Eliza Lawson Housemaid 28 b. Doddenham, Worcestershire
Hannah Wilson Kitchenmaid 18 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Maria Holland Nursery Maid 15 b. Brockhampton, Herefordshire
James Ashcroft Footman 27 b. Broadway, Worcestershire
Edwin Maund Groom 18 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
William Smith Footboy 15 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
James Powell General Labourer 14 b. Edvin Loach, Herefordshire

Richard Harington

Sir Richard Harington, 12th Baronet,  was the eldest son of Sir Richard Harington, 11th Baronet, and was born in 1861.  Educated at Eton, he went on to Oxford and graduated  in 1886 with a Master of Arts before being admitted to Inner Temple in 1886 entitled to practice as a barrister.

Sir Richard married the Hon Selina Lousa Grace Dundas, daughter of Charles Saunders Melville Dundas, 6th Viscount Melville of Melville and Grace Selina Marion Scully, on 5th September 1899.

Eventually he took up a post in Bengal as a Puisne Judge in the High Court of Justice where he served until 1913;  then when World War I broke out, he volunteered for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, gaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the Anti Aircraft Corps.

Sir Richard also became a JP for Herefordshire, and was appointed High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1918.

He died in 1931, aged 69 and was buried alongside other members of the family at St. John the Baptist Church at Whitbourne.

 Return of heroes Captain J. Harington and Captain E. Brierley

in 1902 residents of Whitbourne turned out in force to welcome home Captain John Harington, youngest son of Sir Richard Harington, Bart. of Whitbourne Court, and Captain Eustace Brierley, eldest son of the Rev. Preb. Brierley.

Both men had distinguished themselves in the Soudan and the Boer War, with Captain Harington serving at Omdurman and enduring the hardships of the siege of Ladysmith.  He led the night attack on Surprise Hill and repelled the enemy from Waggon Hill.

Whitbourne Court Household 1891

Richard Harington Son, Barrister at Law 30 b. Hanwell, Middlesex
John Harington Son, Student 17 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Margaret A. Harington Daughter, 19 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Frances C. Harington Daughter 16 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Alfrida Anderson Governess 29 b. Sweden
Edwin Maund Butler 28 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
William Smith Footman 25 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Frances M. Bolton Cook 30 b. Wolstanton, Staffs
Amy Jones Lady’s Maid 27 b. Madeley, Salop
Alice M. Oliver Laundry Maid 20 b. Malvern, Worcestershire
Fanny James Housemaid 25 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Susan J. Trotman Schoolroom Maid 20 b. Gloucestershire
Hannah Davies Kitchen Maid 23 b. Carmarthenshire

Fires at Whitbourne Court

In 1892 George Downes a 17 year old Footman at Whitbourne Court, was charged with having set fire to a stable at the court, the property of Sir Richard Harington.

George pleaded guilty to this, and also of setting fire to a cider mill at the same location.  He was committed for trial.

Stephen H. Gatty

Sir Stephen Herbert Gatty was born in 1849 and was the son of Margaret Scott Gatty, a children’s author.  Margaret was the daughter of Nelson’s confidential secretary and chaplain, Dr. Scott).

Sir Stephen’s daughter Hester married the poet Siegfried Sassoon.

He died in 1922

Whitbourne Court Household 1901

Stephen H. Gatty Widower, Chief Justice of Gibralter 51 b. Ecclesfield, Yorkshire
Hougham Chas Huntley Visitor, Infantry Col. Army Retired 55 b. Port Elizabeth, Cape of Good Hope
Sophie E. Harcourt Huntley Visitor 40 b. Woburn, Bedfordshire
Vera Harcourt Huntley Visitor 20 b. Brighton, Sussex
Edwin Maund Butler 38 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
Frances M. Maund Cook (married Butler since last census) 40 b. Cross Heath Staffs
Mary Webb Laundry Maid 26 b. Tibberton, Worcestershire
Ellen Nash Housemaid 21 b. Worcestershire
Mary A Brindley Kitchenmaid 21 b. Cross Heath, Staffordshire
Alice Evelyn Maund Daughter of butler and cook 6 b. Whitbourne, Herefordshire
James Mann Footman 23 b. Leamington, Warwickshire
William Banner Groom 26 b. Bransford, Worcestershire

 

Whitbourne Court Household 1911

Census form filled in by Charles Herbert Binstead, Rector of Whitbourne, on behalf of Lady Harington who was away.

Jones Widow, Cook 53 b. Lydney, Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Spregg Housemaid 23 b. Worcestershire
Walter Smith Groom 23 b. Broadheath, Worcestershire
Minnie Powell Kitchen Maid 17 b. Dilwyn, Herefordshire