The original 17th century Moreton Court was occupied by John Keysall, a banker of London and high sheriff of Herefordshire in 1794, then from 1816 by William Chute Gwinnett who had served as High Sheriff of the county in 1823, and found fame at Moreton Court as an agriculturist and for his splendid herd of Hereford cattle.
The Appearance of the original Moreton Court
In 1839 Moreton Court was put up for rent, with a glorious description so that we may imagine more of how it looked:
“Situate in the Vale of the Lugg and embosomed in a glad of evergreens and other choice trees, the principal rooms of this desirable mansion look out upon an esplanade of some acres which art and nature have conspired to render fascinating.
An elegant conservatory, replete with rare plants; clusters of shrubs, to which both hemispheres – and especially the far West – have contributed; and the general arrangement of the parterres and walks complete the interest of a foreground which a sunk fence separates from an extensive lawn.
The view, excepting at those intervals of its happily broken outline through which the bold distances of this county, or the mountain scenery of Wales, are clearly perceivable – is terminated by a lofty range of those coppice clad hills, which are the distinctive features.
To sportsmen this vicinity will offer many allurements; for besides that the partridge shooting is good, and the exclusive range of the tenant considerable, the Herefordshire Fox Hounds meet frequently at convenient distances; and the Lugg so distinguished for its trout, grayling etc. flows within a quarter of a mile, affording to the skilful angler, not, as too often happens with other streams, merely an opportunity of alternating between the perpetual renovations of hope and the constant succession of disappointment, but a source of useful supply as well as of delightful recreation.”
Tenants and Owners of Moreton Court
The house had a succession of tenants, and one advert in 1852 gives a short description of the actual original house:
“The house comprises spacious dining and drawing rooms; library; breakfast room and fifteen bedrooms.
There are good stables, and a coach house”
In 1858 the tenant of the time was George Lawrence who was a keen sportsman but his activities were severely curtailed one day when he had an accident whilst shooting partridge. The right hand barrel of his gun burst at the breech, and either a fragment of the barrel, or the charge of shot which had been in it, passed through George’s left hand and tore it to pieces. Medical aid was rapidly sought, but it was quickly realised that it would be impossible to save the hand, and it was amputated at the wrist immediately.
Moreton Court was sold in 1863 to Thomas Evans who had been living at Sufton Court in Herefordshire, who using an architect from Cheltenham, J.H.Knight, rebuilt the house and a very striking and imposing house it was.
Sadly, in 1866 Thomas and his wife had a still born daughter but they did have four surviving daughters plus one son.
Thomas Evans died in 1872 but his wife remained in Moreton Court. When Mr Hill married Thomas’s daughter, Harriet, he moved into Moreton Court and I believe that he purchased the house – it matters not really, because he died leaving Harriet in the house.
Moreton Court was demolished in the 1950s.
1861 – Moreton Court Household
|George Lawrence||53||Merchant and landed proprietor||b. Monmouthshire|
|Catherine Lawrence||40||Wife||b. Glamorganshire|
|Arthur Lawrence||12||son||b. Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Wyndham Lawrence||10||son||b. Christchurch, Monmouthshire|
|Walter Lawrence||4||son||b. Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire|
|Lilian Lawrence||2||daughter||b. Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire|
|Charles Lawrence||8 mths||son||b. Moreton on Lugg, Herefordshire|
|Charlotte Owens||23||Cook||b. Herefordshire|
|Mary Mansell||21||Housemaid||b. Canon Pyon, Herefordshire|
|Charlotte Watkins||21||Nurse||b. Wellington, Herefordshire|
|John Thomas||21||Groom||b. Ludlow, Shropshire|
1871 – Moreton Court Household
|Thomas Evans||67||Magistrate||b. st. Johns, Herefordshire|
|Harriet Evans||45||Wife||b. Donnington, Herefordshire|
|Harriet Evans||14||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Mabel Evans||12||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Catherine Evans||11||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Frances Evans||7||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Thomas C. Evans||6||son||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Ann Hochstetter||24||Governess||b. Germany|
|Eli Oliver||29||Butler||b. Hampshire|
|Charles Meredith||23||Footman||b. Yarpole, Herefordshire|
|Jane Bowyer||36||Housekeeper||b. Suffolk|
|Eliza Williams||36||Nurse||b. Brilly, Herefordshire|
|Emma Ellis||20||Ladies Maid||b. Denbighshire|
|Annie Clark||38||Housemaid||b. Marylebone, London|
|Fanny Blake||22||servant||b. Worcestershire|
|Elizabeth Beachy||21||servant||b. Madley, Herefordshire|
|Ann Jandrell||16||servant||b. Kings Pyon, Herefordshire|
|Caroline Gatehouse||18||servant||b. Whitney, Herefordshire|
1881 – Moreton Court Household
|Harriett Evans||55||Widow, land owner||b. Ledbury, Herefordshire|
|Mabel T. Evans||22||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Catherine B. Evans||21||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Frances T. Evans||17||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|John Haseman||26||Butler||b. Herefordshire|
|James Waghorne||44||Coachman||b. Sussex|
|Elizabeth Lane||33||Cook||b. Monmouthshire|
|Mary James||34||Parlour Maid||b. Talgarth, Brecon|
|Elizabeth Harris||20||Housemaid||b. Devonshire|
|Eliza Nurse||18||Scullery Maid||b. St. Martins, Herefordshire|
1891 – Moreton Court Household
|Harriett Evans||65||Widow, living on own means||b. Ledbury, Herefordshire|
|Frances Evans||27||daughter||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Mary Powell||49||Domestic servant||b. Stretton Sugwas, Herefordshire|
|Florence E. Smith||24||General servant||b. Brentwood, Essex|
|Louisa Jarvis||18||General Servant||b. Chester, Cheshire|
|Thomas Taylor||21||Butler||b. Marden, Herefordshire|
1901 – Moreton Court Household
|Sara Frost||37||Widow, Parlour Maid||b. Castle Cary, Somerset|
|Mary Evans||31||Cook||b. Arlingham, Gloucestershire|
|Frances Sutton||26||Housemaid||b. Lambourne, Warwickshire|
|Catherine Hughes||21||Kitchen Maid||b. Leominster, Herefordshire|
|Eliza Ann Adams||20||Housemaid||b. Shropshire|
|Ann Eliza Warman||18||Housemaid||b. Worcestershire|
1911 – Moreton Court Household
|Harriett Abiah Hill||Widow, private means||54||b. Mordiford, Herefordshire|
|Ursula Harriett Hill||daughter||23||b. Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire|
|Jane Stanbury||Housemaid||43||b. Somerset|
|Marianne Higgs Thornley||Cook||50||b. Chepstow|
|Flora Mary Thornley||Visitor||12||b. Cardiff, Glamorganshire|