The Manor of Stoke Edith was owned by Sir Henry Lingen 1612-1662, a Royalist Cavalier.
The history of Stoke Edith starts with Paul Foley the Speaker, a man of great integrity, who died in 1699 at the age of 54; he was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas, Member for Weobley Herefordshire – these two were responsible for building the mansion known at the time as Stoke Court. Thomas was an accomplished architect, and it is thought that he may have drawn up some of the plans himself, under the guidance of Sir Christopher Wren.
Thomas represented Hereford from 1702 to 1715, and was Commissioner of Trade and Plantations during the reign of Queen Anne. When he died in 1737, his son Thomas Foley took over Stoke Edith; he was member for the city of Hereford in 1734 and for the county from 1741 to 1744. When he also inherited the estate of his cousin Thomas Lord Foley he was raised to the peerage as Baron Foley of Kidderminster.His second son, the Hon Edward Foley, MP for Worcestershire inherited Stoke Edith and at his death in 1803 the estate went to his eldest son, Edward Foley MP for Herefordshire. Edward married Lady Emily Graham.
Paul Foley 1645 – 1699
Paul Foley was a younger son of Thomas Foley,
Paul Foley took over Stoke Edith House in 1695 and set about rebuilding it, – it was more or less finished by the late 17th century. One of the leading landscape gardeners, George London, was employed to sort out the grounds and he planted a wonderful Elm avenue as well as a coniferous walk. His terraced gardens at Stoke Edith were hugely admired nationwide, and he managed to connect the house and gardens to the surrounding countryside with his wonderful walks.
He was an MP for Hereford and in 1695 was elected Speaker in the House of Commons.
Paul Foley died of Gangrene in 1699 and his son Thomas took over the estate as well as the Hereford seat.
This picture was kindly supplied by http://www.lostheritage.org.uk.
Lady Emily Foley
Lady Emily Graham was born 23rd June 1805, and on 16th August 1832 married Edward Thomas Foley. Edward died in 1846 and as they had no children he left all his estates to Emily who wholeheartedly took on the duties of a country landowner. She made sure that all the estate cottages were kept in good order and that they were big enough for the workers who lived in them; she kept the rents low. Elementary schools were maintained on the estate, and she was patroness of several almshouses in different parts of the country. She was a devout attendant at her local church and a staunch Conservative. She kept Stoke Edith Court in true traditional manner, no mean feat given its vast size, and adorned the walls with many valuable paintings.
Lady Emily Foley owned a great deal of the land around Malvern. Malvern was known for its curative waters from 1842, and it was also becoming the “in” place to live, with building land at a premium. Lady Emily was open to selling some of her land, but only on condition that each house built had to include an acre of land on which many trees must be planted. To this day the result of this can be seen throughout Malvern.
Clearly Lady Emily Foley was passionate about the countryside, and when the railway line was planned from Malvern to Hereford across land owned by herself, she insisted that cuttings be excavated so that the ugly trains could not be seen. She decided to have a station built at Stoke Edith, purely for the use of her family and guests, and trains were obliged to stop there whenever she required them to.
She was not very keen on the tunnels running from Ledbury through to Malvern, and would use her coach and horses if going in that direction – but she had a lovely waiting room built for her own use at Malvern, so that whilst waiting for the ongoing train to London she did not have to mix with the riff raff! This room became Lady Foley’s Tea Room.
Lady Emily was known as “the lady paramount of Herefordshire” and “the sovereign patroness” of public institutions in the county. She was certainly greatly admired and well respected by all who knew her
She died at Stoke Edith in 1900 after a very short illness.
She was succeeded on her death by Paul H. Foley
The impressive house was variously known as Stoke House; Stoke Edith Manor and Stoke Park.
Stoke House – 1841
|Rebecca Porter||b. 1806|
|Ann Chadwick||b. 1811|
|Eliza Godsall||b. Herefordshire 1816|
|Ann Pulley||b. 1821|
|Maryanne Vaughan||b. Herefordshire 1821|
|James Price||b. Herefordshire 1806|
Stoke House – 1851
|Elizabeth M. Gage||b. Sussex 1816||Honourable Annuitant, Visitor|
|Catherine Atwood||b. Shropshire 1773||Gentlewoman Annuitant|
|Rebecca Porter||b. Ashby Parva, Leicestershire 1806||Housekeeper|
|Mary Baldock||b. Stanstead, Hertfordshire 1805||Cook|
|Caroline Thompson||b. St. Nicholas, Herefordshire 1821||Laundry Maid|
|Katherine Bannister||b. Herefordshire 1826||Kitchen Maid|
|Ann Chadwick||b. Dymock, Gloucestershire 1811||Housemaid|
|Mary Morley||b. Callow, Herefordshire 1816||Housemaid|
|Sophia Phillips||b. St. Helens, Worcestershire 1828||Housemaid|
|Eliza Hart||b. Yarkhill, Herefordshire 1825||Stillroom Maid|
|Ann Haines||b. Byford, Herefordshire 1831||Scullery Maid|
|Adah Rowland||b. Merionethshire 1819||Visitor’s Maid|
|Martha Parker||b. Dormington, Herefordshire 1832||Visitor’s Maid|
|Thomas Hart||b. Wilden, Bedfordshire 1808||Under Butler|
|Henry Hore||b. Wrotham, Kent 1823||Footman|
|Hesther Thomas||b. Glasbury, Radnorshire 1788||Charwoman|
|William Spachley||b. Leckford, Hampshire 1827||Postillion|
|William Bevan||b. Stretton Grandison, Herefordshire 1835||Postillion|
|James Preece||b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1828||Messenger etc.|
|Thomas Cooper||b. Petworth, Sussex 1793||Visitor’s Groom|
Stoke House – 1861
|James Graham||b. London, Middlesex 1848||Marquis, Nephew|
|Ronald Graham||b. London, Middlesex 1853||Lord, Nephew|
|Alma Graham||b. Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland 1855||Lady, Niece|
|William M. Graham||b. London, Middlesex 1807||Lord, Brother|
|Catherine Lofters||b. Ireland 1829||Lady, Cousin|
|Louisa Klohjs||b. Brussels 1824||Governess|
|Frederick Stangel (?)||b. Germany 1829||Tutor|
|William Bowen||b. Streetly, Nottinghamshire 1827||Groom of the chambers|
|Thomas Pearce||b. Birch, Herefordshire 1832||Coachman|
|John Pearce||b. London, Middlesex 1841||Second Coachman|
|Richard Bushnell||b. London, Middlesex 1843||Postillion|
|Robert Morris||b. Rhayader, Wales 1820||Stableman|
|Robert Boardman||b. Norfolk, 1840||Groom|
|Martha Croxford||b. St. Giles, Wiltshire 1821||Housekeeper|
|Margaret Lycott||b. Weston on Trent, Staffordshire 1811||Ladies Maid|
|Ann Lustin||b. West Burton, Oxfordshire||Stillroom Maid|
|Mary Dykes||b. Clyro, Radnorshire, Wales 1843||Under Stillroom Maid|
|Edwin Hoad||b. Winchelsea, Sussex 1819||Valet|
|William Webster||b. London, Middlesex 1829||Under Butler|
|Elizabeth Read||b. Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland 1804||Laundry Maid|
|Sophia Davies||b. Edwyn Ralph, Herefordshire 1840||Laundry Maid|
|Eliza Moore||b. Dunmore, Essex 1837||Cook|
|Eliza Evans||b. Rhayader, Radnorshire, Wales 1839||Kitchen Maid|
|Maria Hill||b. Cheltenham Gloucestershire, 1844||Kitchen Maid|
|Hannah Cound (?)||b. Shropshire 1828||Housemaid|
|Rose Smith||b. Montgomeryshire, Wales 1839||Housemaid|
|Ann Dutton||b. Shotton, Herefordshire 1841||Housemaid|
|Thomas Evans||b. Tarrington, Herefordshire 1838||Assistant|
|Magdalene Fuller||b. Germany 1824||Ladies Maid|
|Louisa Schrader||1832||Ladies Maid|
|Emma Stone||b. Bristol, Gloucestershire 1809||Nurse|
|William Wyatt||b. Uffington, Berkshire 1835||Footman|
|Thomas Hayes||b. Lincolnshire 1828||Valet|
|Ann Weaver||b. Staunton on Wye, Herefordshire 1790||Charwoman|
Now one of those name changes:
Stoke Edith Park – 1901
|Henry George Huntley||b. Wiltshire 1858||Butler|
|Ernest Dale||b. Cheshire 1879||Footman|
|Frederick David Barnett||b. Herefordshire 1874||Coachman|
|Thomas Henry Barton||b. Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales 1883||Hall Boy|
|Charles Alfred Parotow||b. Moseley, Worcestershire 1879||Professional Cricketer|
|Mary Allen||b. Bryanston, Dorset 1833||Housekeeper|
|Kate Fuller||b. Suffolk, 1875||Cook|
|Esther Elizabeth Lingen||b. Bodenham, Herefordshire 1881||Kitchenmaid|
|Sarah Derestone||b. Shropshire 1884||Kitchenmaid|
|Alice Mary Bishop||b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1864||Housemaid|
|Kate Williams||b. Lower Oddington, Gloucestershire 1875||Housemaid|
|Louisa Elizabeth Vernall||b. Cardiff, Glamorganshire 1881||Housemaid|
Stoke Park – 1911
|Paul Robert Foley||b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1911||Son|
|Alice Bishop||b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1864||Housekeeper and head servant|
|Jane Joiner||b. Kent 1866||Nurse|
|Annie Vaughan||b. Glasbury, Brecon, Wales 1885||Housemaid|
|Ethel Lees||b. Cheshire 1888||Housemaid|
|Nellie Owen||b. Northampton 1891||Kitchenmaid|
|Barbara Ravenhill||b. Glosters 1893||Housemaid|
|Arthur James Benbow||b. Shropshire 1883||Footman|
|Henry King||b. Worcester 1891||Footman|
|Walter George Henry Knight||b. Dawlish, Devon 1890||Domestic Oddman|
Stoke Park – 1921
|Paul Henry Foley||b. London 1857|
|Dora Foley||b. London 1882||Wife|
|Mary Hussey||b. London 1864||Visitor|
|George Loveday||b. Oxfordshire||Servant|
|Herbert George Johns||b. Ireland||Servant|
|Alice Bishop||b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire 1863||Servant|
|Eleanor Maud Bennett||b. Tettenhall, Staffordshire 1897||Servant|
|Jennie Sophia Dakin||b. Staffordshire 1884||Servant|
|Mabel Louisa Lamputt||b. Hereford 1895||Servant|
|Martha Jane Owens||b. Radnorshire, Wales 1901||Servant|
|Alice Hodgkinson||b. Chesham, Buckinghamshire 1880||Servant|
|Florence Weale||b. Bishops Castle, Shropshire 1903||Servant|
|Ellen Weale||b. Bishops Castle, Shropshire 1907||Servant|
|Annie Williams||b. Stretton, Cheshire 1880||Servant|
|Emily Elsie Martin||b. Buckingham, Buckinghamshire 1881||Servant|
The manor was destroyed by fire in 1927, despite the efforts of Paul Henry Foley, who although in poor health orchestrated the work of his own fire brigade which desperately tried to contain the fire. Neighbouring fire brigades came to help, at which point Paul Foley collapsed and had to leave the scene. Although he and others had managed to rescue many items of valuable furniture, china and paintings, the building itself was beyond help and eventually only some of the walls remained.
Fortunately those who were inside the building at the time managed to escape, some having hair raising experiences – Miss Windsor, a Maid, found herself cut off by a burning staircase so climbed on to the roof which was being engulfed by flames. Paul Foley ordered the men from the fire brigade to concentrate their efforts on saving her and they did by way of a life line just before the roof caved in. The Housekeeper, Mrs. Bishop, had to grope blindly through the smoke and flames before getting to safety.
Paul Foley seemed to recover, and was well enough to visit London in 1928 but once there he suddenly died. He was 71.
The lovely entrance gates and lodge are still intact and currently the grounds are extensively used for shooting.