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
Guys Hospital Rent out Dewsall Court
In 1844 James Price was in residence
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.
Edith Morris in front of Dewsall Court