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;
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.
“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.
“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|
|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
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|