Dunham Massey Estate – Cheshire
In spite of its close proximity to Manchester, Dunham Massey Estate is a tranquil retreat from the bustle of city life. The open fields and woodland of the estate create a buffer for the ancient deer-park, with its great red brick house at its centre.
The deer park at Dunham Massey is the only medieval park in Trafford to survive to the present day. The hall and grounds are open to the public and are a popular tourist attraction, with over 110,000 visitors in 2006.
The site had been inhabited since before Norman times and in 1066 was recorded in the Domesday records as held by Hamon de Massey under Hugh Lupus, the Earl of Chester.
The Booth family inherited most of the Massey lands in 1409, with Dunham Massey remaining at the heart of the estate. In 1409 it was acquired by Sir Robert Booth, son of Sir John (Lord of Barton) on his marriage to Dulcie Venables then aged only nine.
By the end of the 16th Century the Booths became one of the largest landowners in Cheshire.
Today Dunham Massey Hall appears rather plain but reflects the simple taste and the private life preferred by George Booth , 2nd Earl of Warrington (1675- 1758) for whom the current version of Dunham Hall was built in the first half of the 18th Century.
George Booth 2nd Earl of Warrington had watched the near ruinous involvement of his father and grandfather in the turbulent politics and battles of the 17th century. He was determined to see that his heirs should enjoy the status and financial security that the Booths once held but had come so close to losing.
He had inherited a debt- ridden estate and a neglected house. By modern standards, he was bankrupt. Everything he did , his loveless marriage to an heiress, the construction of a new house on the foundations of the old, his investment in vast quantities of new silver and the planting of 100,000 trees was all in affirmation of his families ancestry and its historical links with Dunham and Cheshire, and of course great financial prudence.
When he died , he left behind a rich estate, a fine modern house and unrivalled Silver collections. Unfortunately for the Earl he had no male heir to carry on the Dunham Massey Estate or The Earldom . After 350 years The Booths of Dunham Massey had been passed onto his only daughter, Lady Mary Booth, the wife of Henry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, who inherited all the Booth estates, including Dunham Massey. Their son was created Earl of Warrington
Dunham Massey today is considered one of the finest historic houses in England and was passed on to the care for in perpetuity with the National Trust since 1976 and should remain so forever.
Old Sir George Booth of Dunham Massey
(1566 – 1652) Carolyn Booth’s – (9th Great Grandfather)
George Booth was born in 1566, the 2nd son of Sir William Booth and Elizabeth Warburton, the daughter of Sir John Warburton of Arley.His father was 26 at the time , the 11th in a family line of Booths stretching back to the early 14th Century and the 3rd Booth to be Knighted.
When his father Sir William died in 1579 at only 39, he left a vast and valuable estate. He held over 2000 acres of arable land in Sinderland, Bowden, parlington, Dunham, Sale & Timperley, extending as far as Wilmslow, dean Row, Pownall fee And Styal and out to Staley , now known as Staleybridge. This holding included 4 Manors and 58 dwellings and on its own was a rich estate. In addition there was also the reversions which meant all benefits , lands etc held by relatives revert back to the owner on their death. This meant an additional 3000 acres and a further 38 dwellings. In all the estate now comprised 5400 acres with Manors and dwellings.
In 1595 George Booth began acquiring further property in Sale for 1000 pounds and Norcliffe for 1150 pounds, This same year he was appointed Sherrif of Chester. In 1597 he was knighted like his father by Queen Elizabeth. He continued to buy small land purchases and expanded Dunham, then in 1605 he purchased half of Ashton under Lyne which cost him a vast sum of 5,500 pounds.
In 1611 more than 10 years after receiving his knighthood, Kings James I promoted George to Baronet. King James I conceived the idea of creating a new type of honour, the Baronet. As knighthoods could not be inherited , unlike the five grades of the peerage, which were all hereditary, King James realised that he could extract money from suitable knights by creating a hereditary knighthood whereby the eldest surviving son could inherit the title. Income was generated for the crown by charging a fee for this honour whether the honour was accepted or not. Sir George was honoured by being included in the very first Ten Baronetcies created. It was shortly after this time that Sir George 1st Baronet conceived the idea of building a new mansion within the parkland of Dunham.
Sir George Booth now affectionately known as Old Sir George became the original builder of Dunham Massey Hall. For much of his long life, he had become one of the most important and influential men in the whole county of Cheshire. He spent much of his first 76 years of his life building his family estates and becoming a respectful leader of society , Deputy Lieutenant of the County, A High Sherriff, Justice of the Peace, however he was happy with a peaceful and plentiful life and never sought a place at court.
However his life of peace and plenty was swept away with Englands Civil Wars and for much of the last 10 years of Old Sir Georges life he was compelled against his will to take a very active part in the struggle. The history of the English civil war and Sir George Booths involvement has been extensively recorded and volumes of documents exist in the John Rylands University of Manchester and are available for open reading.
Old Sir George died in 1652 aged 86. He has been remembered as “free, godly, brave Booth – The Flower of Cheshire”
Sir William Booth. MP
( b. about 1601 – d.1636) (Carolyn Booth’s – 8th Great Grandfather)
William was the eldest son of Old Sir George and heir apparent. He married Vere Egerton (pictured below) she was the third daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Egerton, son of Sir Thomas the Lord Chancellor of England.
Little is known about Sir William and to date no picture or representation of him has ever been found which is a sad loss as he is the last in the line of direct nobility connected to Carolyn Booths family tree.
His Parliamentary Biography
The Booths had resided at Dunham Massey since the mid-fifteenth century and had long been prominent in Cheshire affairs.9 Booth himself was the eldest son of Sir George Booth, one of the most influential county figures during the first half of the seventeenth century.10 Educated at Cambridge and Lincoln’s Inn, he subsequently married the daughter of Sir Thomas Egerton, the eldest son of the late lord chancellor Ellesmere (Sir Thomas Egerton I†). It was probably through his father’s influence that Booth was appointed Cheshire’s custos rotulorum in 1621, a position which he held until he was removed for unknown reasons in December 1626.
Booth’s election in 1624 for Cheshire was probably intended as part of his political education. He was unanimously chosen for the first place after Sir Richard Grosvenor* gave his remarkable election address.11 He made no recorded speeches in Parliament, but on 27 Apr. he presented the names of suspected Cheshire recusants to the House.12 Booth was appointed to private bill committees regarding Sir Edward Fisher’s estate (19 Apr.), Goathland manor (20 Apr.), Scudamore (21 Apr.), Somervyle (26 Apr.) and Morgan (1 May).13 His interest in these measures is unknown, but he attended three of the five meetings for the Goathland bill.14 He was also named to the bill for the sealing of original writs (30 Apr.), and on the same day to a joint conference concerning pleading in the Exchequer Court. On 15 May Booth was instructed to help prepare the Commons’ case against Bishop Harsnett of Norwich ahead of a joint conference with the Lords.15
Booth predeceased his father by 16 years, dying on 26 Apr. 1636, and was buried in Bowden church, Cheshire.16 He owed £11,000, but in the weeks before his death had hastily indentured several estates to his father for the payment of his debts and annuities to his children.17 Booth was succeeded by his eldest son, George†, who in 1659 led a royalist uprising in Cheshire which came to be known as Booth’s Rebellion.18
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: Chris Kyle
- 1. G. Ormerod, Hist. Cheshire, i. 525; Cheshire Archives, CR63/2/34, unfol.
- 2. Al. Cant.; LI Admiss.
- 3. Harl. 2180, f. 58.
- 4. Ormerod, i. 525; Cheshire and Lancs. Fun. Certs. ed. J.P. Rylands (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. vi), 25-6.
- 5. C231/4, f. 130v; E163/18/12, f. 10v.
- 6. C183/3, ff. 215, 237v.
- 7. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 144.
- 8. C192/1, unfol.
- 9. Ormerod, i. 523-5.
- 10. J. Morrill, Cheshire, passim.
- 11. Pprs. of Sir Richard Grosvenor ed. R. Cust (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. cxxxiv), 1-7; R. Cust and P. Lake, ‘Sir Richard Grosvenor’, BIHR, liv. 40-53.
- 12. CJ, i. 776a; ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 52.
- 13. CJ, i. 770a, 771b, 772a, 775a, 696a.
- 14. C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 197.
- 15. CJ, i. 695a, 705a.
- 16. Cheshire and Lancs. Fun. Certs. 25-6.
- 17. Cheshire IPMs (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. lxxxiv), 42-8.
- 18. Morrill, ch. 8.
On his early death , his son George became heir apparent but he had to wait till he came of age.
The other sons and daughters of William and Vere although born into nobility would no longer have the same entitlements had their father lived and like most noble families 1st son was heir, 2nd son was considered a reserve, third and fourth etc. had to make there own way, but were always supported enough as to not have them fall into poverty and bring disgrace to the family name. Daughters, unless heiresses would marry into lower nobility or simply a reputable family.
Today however we are fortunate to have access to an image of Vere Egerton – courtesy of the National Trust and what a magnificent picture it is. The back story to this important painting of Vere Egerton is fascinating and the extraordinary detail in this painting is well worth studying. The length of her hair and the detail in the dress, the shoes, and the brilliance of the artist. The National Trust link below tells the complete story of this magnificent work and includes some fabulous close ups highlighting the detail. Well worth a look , all the while remembering this is nearly 400 years old.
National Trust Link – http://nttreasurehunt.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/portrait-of-a-lady-returns-to-dunham/
Also please visit the following link, this site is a diary By Jennifer Craig an Honours Student who is ambitiously recreating the Vere Egerton Costume in the painting and so far it is looking great. http://vereegertonportrait.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/start-at-begining.html
George Booth, 1st Baron Delamer
George Booth, 1st Baron Delamer (b. 1622 – 8 August 1684). Carolyn Booth’s – (7th Great Grand Uncle)
George was urged to foster the Dunham estate by his grandfather and he proved to be of equally independent mind, representing Cheshire as MP until expelled from parliament in Prides purge of 1648 for opposing the court set up to judge the King.
He and his grandfather fought strenuously on behalf of the parliamentarians but became disillusioned by the authoritarian rule of Cromwell and retired to his estates in Cheshire.
George Booth was nominated to the Barebones Parliament for Cheshire in 1653 and was elected MP for Cheshire in the First Protectorate Parliament in 1654 and in the Second Protectorate Parliament in 1656. In 1655 he was appointed military commissioner for Cheshire and treasurer at war. He was one of the excluded members who tried and failed to regain their seats in the restored Rump Parliament after the fall of Richard Cromwell in 1659.
He had for some time been regarded by the Royalists as a well-wisher to their cause, and was described to the King in May 1659 as “very considerable in his county, a Presbyterian in opinion, yet so moral a man. . . I think Your Majesty may safely on him and his promises which are considerable and hearty”. He thus became one of the chief leaders of the new Royalists who united with the Cavaliers to effect the Restoration.
An uprising was arranged for 5 August in several districts, and Booth took charge of operations in Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales. This was known as “Booths Uprising” After gaining control of Chester on the 19th, he issued a proclamation declaring that “arms had been taken up in vindication of the freedom of Parliament, of the known laws, liberty and property”, and then marched towards York. The plot, however, was known to John Thurloe. Having been foiled in other parts of the country, Lambert‘s advancing forces defeated Booth’s men at the Battle of Winnington Bridge near Northwich. Booth himself escaped disguised as a woman, Mistress Dorothy, but was discovered at Newport Pagnell on the 23rd whilst having a shave, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
However, Booth was soon liberated and returned to his seat in the Convention Parliament in 1660. He was one of the twelve members deputed to carry the message of the House of Commons to Charles II at The Hague. In July 1660 he received a grant of £10,000 according to the House of Commons Journal for 30 July 1660, having refused the larger sum of £20,000 at first offered to him, and on 20 April 1661, on the occasion of the coronation, he was created Baron Delamer, with a licence to nominate six new knights. The same year he was appointed Custos Rotulorum of Cheshire.
In later years he showed himself staunchly opposed to the reactionary policies of the government. He died on 8 August 1684, and was buried in the Booth Chapel at Bowdon Church.
Booth’s first marriage was to Catherine, daughter and co-heir of Theophilus Clinton, 4th Earl of Lincoln, with whom he had one daughter. After the death of hist first wife he married Lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford, by whom, besides five daughters, he had seven sons, the second of whom, Henry, succeeded him in the Booth titles and estates and who was later created Earl of Warrington. Although this earldom became extinct on the death of the 2nd Earl in 1758, the Booth Barony of Delamer carried on another generation, only becoming extinct upon the 4th Baron’s death in 1770. The Booths’ even older baronetcy title then devolved upon a distant cousin, the Rev Sir George Booth, Rector of Ashton-under-Lyne, although the family’s representation in the House of Lords had ceased; the Delamer title was later recreated (as Delamere) in 1821 for the Cholmondeley family, kinsmen of the Marquesses of Cholmondeley and the Cholmeley baronets.
Henry Booth, 1st Earl of Warrington
Booth served as a Member of Parliament for Cheshire in 1678, 1679 and 1679–1681, and was conspicuous for his opposition to Catholics. He married Mary Langham, daughter of Sir James Langham, 2nd Baronet, on 7 July 1670, and they had three children who lived past infancy – George, Elizabeth, and Mary. In 1684, he succeeded his father as the 2nd Baron Delamer.
At a treason trial in the House of Lords in January 1685/6, Delamer was accused of participation in the Monmouth Rebellion, and the presiding judge in the case was Judge Jeffreys, as Lord High Steward, sitting with thirty other peers. The defence secured an acquittal.
During the Revolution of 1688, Booth declared in favour of William of Orange, and raised an army in Cheshire in support of him. After William was installed as William III, he made Booth chancellor of the exchequer in 1689. He wrote a number of political tracts, which were published after his death as The Works of the Right Honourable Henry, Late L. Delamer, and Earl of Warrington. He also authored a tract in vindication of his friend, Edward Russell. He was created Earl of Warrington on 17 April 1690. He became mayor of Chester in October 1691, and died on 2 January 1694.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters, equivalent to the role of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the Treasury in other nations. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury. The position is considered one of the four Great Offices of State, and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the Prime Minister. It is the only office of the four Great Offices not to have been occupied by a woman.
In the Dunham Chancel of the Church of Bowdon is a monument placed between two windows on the south side of the chapel, and divided into two tablets; the first of which is inscribed:
“Beneath lieth the body of the right hon’ble Henry Booth, earl of Warrington, and baron Delamer of Dunham Massey, a person of unblemished honour, impartial justice, strict integrity, an illustrious example of steady and unalterable adherence to the liberties and properties of his country in the worst of times, rejecting all offers to allure, and despising all dangers to deter him therefrom, for which he was thrice committed close prisoner to the Tower of London, and at length tried for his life upon a false accusation of high treason, from which he was unanimously acquitted by his peers, on 14 January, MDCLXXX V/VI which day he afterwards annually commemorated by acts of devotion and charity: in the year MDCLXXXVIII he greatly signalised himself at the Revolution, on behalf of the protestant religion and the rights of the nation, without mixture of self-interest, preferring the good of his country to the favour of the prince who then ascended the throne; and having served his generation according to the will of God was gathered to his fathers in peace, on the 2d of January, 169¾, in the XLIId year of his age, whose mortal part was here entombed on the same memorable day on which eight years before his trial had been.”
George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington
George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington (May 2, 1675 – August 2, 1758) was the son of Henry Booth, 1st Earl of Warrington by his wife Mary, the daughter and sole heiress of Sir James Langham, Bart. As the eldest surviving son, he inherited the title of Earl of Warrington on his father’s death in 1693. He married in 1702 Mary, elder daughter of John Oldbury, a merchant, of St Dunstan’s in the East, by his wife, Mary Bohun. Upon his death, the Earldom of Warrington became extinct, whilst the family titles of Baron Delamer and the Baronetcy created in 1611 devolved upon his cousin, Nathaniel Booth. However his only daughter, Lady Mary Booth, the wife of Henry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford, inherited all the Booth estates, including Dunham Massey. Their son was created Earl of Warrington
The Booth nobility and estates had been dissolved after more than 400 years. But their enormous legacy and contributions to English history remains.
More details to follow…………………………………………