Easton Court was built in the early 1800s on the site of an earlier building and from what is left of the now decaying and ruined house it can be seen that it was a fine dwelling at one time.

Dansey Richard Dansey

For a while it was owned by Dansey Richard Dansey, who tragically lost his second son, William Collins Dansey at the age of nine months in 1816.  One year later, his wife bore him a daughter, Frances Milborough Dancey who went on to marry Sir Richard Green Price.

Sale of Easton Court

In 1833 Easton Court was put up for sale by D.R. Dansey, being described as a most desirable and fertile estate.

The mansion house was described as being modern built, with barns, orchards, coppices and farms amounting to 1800 acres.  Along with the house there was a separate sale of furnishings from which it is evident that everything within the house was to go:

Easton Court House Contents for Sale

A neat and lofty four post tent and French bedsteads;  with moreen, chintz and dimity furniture;  excellent goose feather beds bolsters and pillows, hair and flock mattresses, moreen and chintz window curtains with poles, brass arms and pulleys.  Mahogany bedsteps complete;  mahogany commodes, bidets, mahogany and oa chest with drawers, and chest upon chests;  bureaus and linen chests.  Mahogany and painted wardrobes with folding doors and slides;  mahogany and painted wash tables;   dressing tables and stands with tray tops.  Pier and swing glasses, large quantity of home made bed and table linen;  Witney blankets, Marseilles quilts and counterpaines;  Turkey, Brussels and Kidderminster carpets and rugs;  drugget, oil cloth and matting;  mahogany, rosewood and painted chairs;  set of mahogany dining tables on pillar and claw with castors;  mahogany and rosewood loo, card, sofa.  Pembroke tables and work stands;  mahogany sideboard and cellaret;  brass banded mahogany plate warmer with heaters;  drawing room suits of rosewood chairs, couches, loo table, sofa and work tables;  two India cabinets;  backgammon board and new handsome India jars and ornaments;  one old India cabinet inlaid with ivory and rosewood with folding doors and drawers;  India screen; a French time piece with glass cover;  a new piano by Broadwood;  square piano;  a new harp;  eight day bracket hall clock;  eight day clock in mahogany case;  four lounging chairs filled with hair and chintz covers;  prints and paintings, gilt frames and glazed;  library of books, plate and plated goods;  cut and plain glass;  dinner service of India china;  tea services of china, dessert services of china and delft;  wines, ale, beer, cider and spirits, cider casks;  brewing and washing tubs, steel, brass and wire fenders and fire irons.  Quantity of fine bacon, and a large assortment of kitchen and dairy utensils, milk leads, mangle, scales and weights.

Easton Court Livestock for Sale

Three Alderney cows and one half bred Alderney, excellent milkers.

2 year old Alderney Bull.

Bay hackney, 7 years old 14 hands high – good hunter or roadster.

Superior bay yhearling colt, 13 hands and a half high with great power – by Wamba, dam by Sultan, with good actions.

Black brood mare by Sultan;

Cart mare

Cart gelding

Black pony four years old, 13 hands high, very steady.

Aged pony 12 hands high.

7 fat Wether sheep;  8 yearling ewes;  one lamb, one ram

Sow and six pigs;  one sow in pig and 6 strong store pigs.

There also followed a list of carts, ploughs and agricultural bits and pieces along with saddlery and all things horse related.


Dansey Richard Dansey died in 1857 in Brittany, after a short illness.


Captain Roger Delamere Dansey

His youngest son, Captain Roger Delamere Dansey of the 3rd Madras European Regiment died in 1860.  After serving in Burmah at the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny in 1857, he captured an Indian Chief, a close relative of the King in Delhi, who was thought to have been inciting the Sepoys to revolt.

Whilst holding the office of baggage master, he took part in many successful actions in Central India and also took part in the battle of Baudah, and the capture of the immense treasure which was put into the hands of the British Government at Kirowie.

Captain Roger Delamere Dansey was a young and valuable officer, and held a post of great responsibility – on one occasion he was publicly thanked for his zealous services – but sadly he fell victim to what the press were calling gross mismanagement.

The commanding officer at Kamptee ordered the detachment under Capt. Dansey’s escort to march into an encampment where cholera had broken out, even though Capt. Dansey telegraphed for permission to change the route – something which could have easily been done without detriment to the public service,  no permission was granted, and he and his men all died of cholera.

The press angrily reported:

“Had such permission been granted instead of denied, not only the relatives of Capt. Dansey, but many other families would, by God’s blessing, have been spared bereavement.  How long is the best blood of our country to be wasted by the incapacity of such superiors?  Must we always be prepared to lose our bravest and dearest through such cruel stupidity?”

Easton Court for Sale again

In 1837, Easton Court and estate was once again put up for sale.

“A most desirable freehold Manor and estate of 1820 acreas of capital grass and corn lands;  woods;  hop grounds and orchards, and a capital stone built mansion house with offices of every description, comprising excellent stabling, coach houses, walled garden and every suitable convenience for a Country Residence.”

The Baileys at Easton Court

It was purchased by Joseph Bailey, who set about reducing the rents on the estate which had been running at the full rate for some time, and he also started to bring the condition of the estate back to its former glory, but he died shortly afterwards in 1850 aged just 38 and it was left to his widow, Elizabeth,  to pick up the reins.  Joseph had been MP for Herefordshire from 1841 until his death.

Elizabeth Mary Bailey (nee Russell) was a kind hearted and generous lady and over the years subscribed to a great many charities, including the Hereford Infirmary;  Widow and Orphans Fund;  Lying in Charity;  Female National School;  Boy’s National School;  Clothing Society and the Benevolent Society.  She was also something of an accomplished horticulturist and flower arranger and won a great many prizes and awards at shows far and near.

The enumerator for Little Hereford census returns had the most appalling handwriting, and unfortunately he turned up on more than one occasion!  I found some of it totally unreadable, so apologise for any gaps or uncertainties

1851 – Easton Court Household

Elizabeth Mary Bailey 29 Widow, landed proprietor b. Mosely, Worcestershire
Henry James Bailey 6 son b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
John Franklin Bailey 5 son b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
Marianne Bailey 3 daughter b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
Richard Crawshay Bailey 2 son b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
Margrett Greenfield 30 Sister in law b. Monmouthshre
Walter Greenfield 5 nephew b. Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Joseph Bailey Greenfield 3 nephew b. Monmouthshire
Mary Anne Greenfield 2 niece b. Monmouthshire
Helen Wyatt Greenfield 1 niece b. Monmouthshire
William Crawshay Greenfield 2months nephew b. Monmouthshire
William Symmonds 41 Butler b. Suffolk
William Philpott 25 Footman b. Herefordshire
Edwin Parry 24 Coachman b. Denbyshire
Enoch Williams 27 Groom b. Breconshire
Rebecca Cox 35 Maid and Housekeeper b. Germany
Ann Tuherth ?? 38 Nurse
Mary Morris 46 Cook b. Radnorshire
Eliza Weker ?? 31 Laundrymaid b. London
Emma Weker 24 Under Nurse b. Warwickshire
Mary Watts 36 House Maid b. Herefordshire
Elizabeth Maund 22 Kitchenmaid b. Herefordshire
Charlotte ?? 20 Nurse b. Monmouthshire
Sara Griffiths 18 Under Nurse b. Crickhowell, Breconshire


In 1853 Elizabeth Bailey showed her generous spirit once again, when she invited all the children from Little Hereford School to festivities at Easton Court, and they were given plum cake and tea after an afternoon of rustic games and fun.

The children apparently had great fun, and everyone was delighted by a performance by Messrs. Johnson and Edwards’ Leamington Quadrille Band.


In 1867 the second meeting of the season of the Herefordshire Society of Bowmen was held at Easton Court, where Mrs. Bailey was the Lady Paramount of the society.  The elite of the district were among the numerous attendees, and the shooting was said to be better than usual despite the stormy weather which slightly dampened spirits.

A superb lunch was provided by Mrs. Bailey and the Hereford Rifle Corps band gave an enlivening performance.

1871 – Easton Court Household

Elizabeth M. Bailey 49 Widow, landowner b. Moseley, Worcestershire
Joseph R. Bailey 30 JP, landowners son b. Leamington, Worcestershire
Henry J. Bailey 26 Son, Gentleman. b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
Marian Bailey 23 Daughter b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
Mary Anne Bailey 30 Daughter in Law b. Crickhowell, Breconshire
Hubert McLaughlin 65 Visitor, Rector of Burford b. Ireland
William Symonds 61 Butler b. Mutford, Suffolk
William George 25 Footman b. Woolstone, Warwickshire
William Whitworth 24 Coachman b. Bedham, Salop
John Martin 63 Gardener b. Leominster, Herefordshire
Sarah Hughes 43 Housekeeper b. Abbott Salford, Worcestershire
Eliza Sargeant 56 Laundress b. Hope, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Woodyatt 25 Ladies Maid b. Great Malver, Worcestershire
Ann Pratt 25 Housemaid b. Thornbury, Herefordshire
Jane Davis 26 Under Housemaid b. Worcestershire
Jane Davis 26 Kitchen Maid b. Aston, Salop
William Bailey 3 Grandson b. Llangattock, Wales
Edith Bailey 5 Grand Daughter b. Llangattock, Wales
Ellen Craddock 29 Ladies Maid for visitor b. Lambeth, Surrey
Richard Jenkins 24 Coachman for visitor b. Swansea, Glamorgan
Rachel Prosser 23 Nursery Maid for visitor b. Wales
Archibald Gourlay 29 Valet for visitor b. Fife, Scotland

Elizabeth Bailey remarried and her new husband, Edward Otto Partridge, moved into Easton Court.  I am pondering on the fact that in previous years Elizabeth had a house full to bursting with relatives of all ages, and now on this census there is just herself and her new man – plus all the servants of course.  Perhaps it is coincidence, or maybe the family disapproved.

1881 – Easton Court Household

Edward Otto Partridge 61 Magistrate b. Monmouthshire
Elizabeth M. Partridge 59 Wife b. Mosely, Worcestershire
David Boyse 39 Butler b. Suffolk
Thomas Burford 24 Footman b. Leominster, Herefordshire
Bartle Farley 30 Coachman b. Dublin, Ireland
Robert Faulkner 17 Page b. Shropshire
Emma Allen 31 Cook b. Shropshire
Ellen Fenner 29 Ladies Maid b. Kent
Elizabeth Richards 28 Housemaid b. Weston under Penyard, Herefordshire
Louisa Jones 23 Under Housemaid b. Sollers Hope, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Davies 20 Kitchenmaid b. Shropshire
Mary Wood 21 Scullerymaid b. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Elizabeth Durston 21 Laundrymaid b. Yorkshire
Sarah Hughes Housekeeper out of employ b. Warwickshire

By 1891 Easton Court has new residents.

The Prestons/Jephsons at Easton Court

I have been contacted by the great grandson of Mary Ellen Preston;    at the time of the 1891 census Mary Ellen was living elsewhere under her married name of Jephson.  He has very kindly allowed me to share some excerpts from his great grandmother’s diary from the time when she was persuaded by her father to move to Easton Court, and they really bring the reality of the house to life.

December 1890

“I was not well. The place never suited me and I disliked the house very much.

Then there was great trouble with servants, especially kitchen-maids. Very, very cold month. The Chester party came for Xmas. Servants had a dance; they kept it up until 3am.

1891  These next years were rather wretched. I was in an ambiguous position, really a housekeeper but with more than any housekeeper would have undertaken.

Ada always sat at the head of the table although the Dad would make the chief man guest take me in and I had to steer him to Ada’s left hand. I didn’t mind!

Only I heard afterwards it made comment among neighbors and it was funny, if you come to think of it.

I had no power to dismiss sevants and sometimes they were impudent. I was never well at Easton Court. The place was low and damp and I freqently had neuralgia and often toothache.

Running a house like Easton Court was no easy matter, especially with an incompetent staff of servants, though we had old Mrs Gore as Cook Housekeeper and she was good but deaf and some of the younger servants were rude to her.”


By 1891, but after the census, Mary Ellen Jephson returned to Easton House when her parents went to Algiers and her husband was away at sea working for P & O.


November 1891

“On 27th I heard they had arrived safely at Algiers and all was going on well.

Aunt Sarah died this month and uncle George was very ill.

This was a most miserable winter. No coal and pump went wrong so no water and kitchen boiler burst. I shut up all the downstairs rooms and lived upstairs, all alone, except for occasional visits from Ted and Amy and children came over sometimes. Most depressing and melancholy.

The servants had a dance on Jan 21st and enjoyed themselves. I believe no-one went to bed at all.

I went to the Rectory a good deal. They were my only near neighbours.

I had a good deal of neuralgia – very cold wind and snow in March. I heard of Lutie Cooke’s death and of poor Louisa Harrison’s on 31st.

Nurse went for a holiday. I was glad to see her back in April.

In May we started house-cleaning in preparation for the travellers’ return. On the 7th my poor little Eileen was brought in with a fractured leg. An hour before the Dr. came to set it.”


The diary also details the rounds of visiting and visitors, as well as shooting parties etc.  All a necessary part of life in a large Herefordshire house.

Mary Ellen left Easton Court in September 1893, her father having died on return from Algiers and her mother a bed-ridden invalid. She spent a lot of time viewing houses to move to around the south of England and eventually left Easton Court



1891 – Easton Court Household

Edward Preston 65 Retired Civil Engineer b. Middlesex
Ellen M.B Preston 55 Wife b. Ireland
Edward Preston 35 Son, Civil Engineer
Ada Preston 25 daughter b. Belgium, British Subject
Edith Preston 20 Daughter
Gladys Jephson 7 Grand Daughter b. Middlesex
Edward Jephson 5 Grandson b. Middlesex
Eileen Jephson 4 Grand Daughter b. Essex
John M. Jephson 2 Grandson b. Essex
Maurice D. Jephson baby Grandson b. Essex
Marianne Gore 52 Housekeeper b. Norfolk
Elizabeth Evans 28 Ladies Maid b.
Sophie A. Cooper 20 Housemaid b. Devonshire
Florence Harvey 23 Housemaid b. Devonshire
Alice Bobbins 19 Kitchen Maid b. Wiltshire
Elizabeth Barnes 17 Scullery Maid b. Ludlow, Salop
James Turner 21 Butler b. Tenbury, Worcestershire
Ellen Swallow 20 Nurse b. Little Hereford, Herefordshire
Mary Dellaport 24 Nursery Governess b. France

In 1901 the occupants of Easton Court were a skeleton staff, and unfortunately the other members were away so it is difficult to find out who owned Easton Court at that time.


1901 – Easton Court Household

Annie Evans 50 Widow, Cook, Housekeeper
Elizabeth Wigmore 36 Laundry Maid b. Gloucestershire
Alice Gabb 28 Housemaid b. Gloucestershire
Jane Griffiths 20 Kitchenmaid b. Shropshire
Ellen Malpas 18 Laundrymaid b. Shropshire
Emily Bush 21 Housemaid b. Shropshire

In 1911 the estate and manor was sold to Colonel Wingfield Cardiff who was born 9th June 1870.   He became J.P. for Hereford, and served in the Great War as Colonel, Durham Light Infantry, and married Muriel Mary Casberd-Boteler.

1911 – Easton Court Household

Richard Henry Wingfield Cardiff 41 Private means, Lt. Col. b. Sydenham, Kent
Muriel Mary Wingfield Cardiff 27 Wife b. Taplow, Buckinghamshire
Erald Boteler  Wingfield Cardiff 2 Son b. Chelsea, London
Mary Cumpstone 31 Cook b. Northamptonshire
Caroline Cousins 38 Nurse b. Birmingham
Elizabeth Ellen Howse 27 Maid b. Paddington, London
Dora Miles 30 Housemaid b. Leominster, Herefordshire
Henrietta Bloomfield 25 Laundrymaid b. Devon
Dorothy Alice Pearse 20 Kitchenmaid b. Farnham, Hampshire
Mary Craig 23 Housemaid b. Jarrow on Tyne, Co. Durham
Maria Ethel Oliver 17 Housemaid b. Truro, Cornwall
Helen May Foote 18 Scullery Maid b. Wincanton, Somerset
Ernest Jewell 20 Footman b. Newton Abbot, Devon
Lewis Bean 16 Hall boy b. Hythe, Kent