Hall Court at Kynaston, Much Marcle is a handsome timber framed building, which has mostly been used as a farm house down the years. It is thought that the gardens and orchards were laid out by John Coke who built the house, and who was keen on kitchen gardening as well as exotic or little known plants.
John Coke built the original Hall Court at Kynaston, Much Marcle in the early 1600s, almost certainly on or near the site of an earlier building.
This is just a brief outline of John Coke’s life, but any amount of detailed information on his political journey can easily be found online.
John Coke was born in 1563, his father being a rather wealthy lawyer, and was educated first at Westminster before attending Trinity college, Cambridge in 1576. He gained a scholarship in 1580 going on to take his BA. On the death of his father, his time at Cambridge might have been curtailed, but with the generous help of his brother he managed to finish his studies; he was to later return as a lecturer.
John Coke became friends with Fulke Greville, and worked with him for some time, gaining a reputation for being trustworthy and capable. The pair enjoyed a rise in office in both Parliament and Royal circles, but also fell hard after Queen Elizabeth’s death.
There was a rather unpleasant side to John Coke, in that during the war of the 1620s he managed to avoid using any of his own money to help with the cost of military action, whilst others around him were digging deeply into their pockets. He used money gained from his office to buy estates.
Ironically, during his time as chief Clerk to Greville, treasurer of the navy, he found out that many naval officials were only concerned with lining their own pockets, and he and Greville did their best to bring about reforms. Unfortunately Greville was forced to resign and Coke went too.
At this time he was 40 and with time on his hands he married Marie Powell in Herefordshire; they lived with her father for a while whilst Hall Court was being built.
It wasn’t too long though before he and Greville were on the rise again and he became very well thought of and respected, being elected MP for Warwick in 1621 – it seems that he and his wife then spent little time at Hall Court and it was put out for rent.
John Coke died in 1644 in Tottenham
Hall Court becomes a Rental Property
In 1781 Hall Court was advertised for let – boasting orcharding, meadow pasture and arable land amounting to two hundred and forty acres, together with another adjoining farm called The Porch.
For many years, Hall Court was tenanted by William Smith, a man who on his death aged in 1861 aged 71 was described as highly respected.
Shortly afterwards, an auction was arranged to sell all William’s farming stock and implements, all the household furniture and livestock.
1841 – Hall Court Household
|Elizabeth Smith||15||b. Herefordshire|
|Louisa Smith||14||b. Herefordshire|
|Sarah Smith||11||b. Herefordshire|
|Thomas Smith||8||b. Herefordshire|
|George Smith||7||b. Herefordshire|
|Mary Smith||3||b. Herefordshire|
|James Smith||baby||b. Herefordshire|
|William Smith||20||b. Herefordshire|
|Reuben Jones||15||b. Herefordshire|
|John Gladden||14||b. Herefordshire|
|Elizabeth Gibbons||20||b. Herefordshire|
|Ellen Toms||15||b. Herefordshire|
1861 – Hall Court Household
|William Smith||71||Farmer of 300 acres||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Louisa Smith||62||Wife||b. Brixton, London|
|Sarah Ann Smith||25||Daughter||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Mary Emma Smith||21||Daughter||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|George J. Smith||23||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|James M. Smith||20||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Hannah Baker||16||House Servant||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|William Prichard||15||All works||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|John Simpkins||11||Carters Boy||b. Hentland, Herefordshire|
1881 – Hall Court Household
|Joseph William Pope||22||Farmer of 311 Acres||b. Welland, Worcestershire|
|Catherine Mary Pope||22||Wife||b. Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire|
|Percy Essex||18||Brother in Law, farmer’s son||b. Leigh Sinton, Worcestershire|
|Louisa Hillox||16||Domestic Servant||b. Broadheath, Worcestershire|
1901 – Hall Court Household
|Thomas J. Powell||55||Farmer||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Alice A. Powell||45||Wife||b. Little Marcle, Herefordshire|
|James J.S. Powell||23||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Beatrice M. Powell||16||Daughter||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Rodney W. Powell||14||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Harold S. Powell||11||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Violet M. Powell||9||Daughter||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Lily E. Powell||9||Daughter||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|William S. Powell||7||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Rupert A. Powell||3||Son||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
1911 – Hall Court Household
|James John Stedman Powell||33||Farmer||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Rodney William Powell||24||Brother||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Harold S. Powell||21||Brother||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|William Shephard Powell||17||Brother||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Beatrice Madaline Powell||26||Sister||b. Much Marcle, Herefordshire|
|Elizabeth Kings||20||Domestic Servant||b. Aylton, Herefordshire|