The Gascoignes :: The Eighteenth Century
Sir Edward Gascoigne 6th Baronet
The above picture of Sir Edward is thought to be by Francesco Trevisani [Wikipedia], painted during the period of Sir Edward's Grand Tour (1723-1726). He married on 26th November 1726 to Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir Francis Hungate, Bart of Huddlestone Hall, by Mary, the only daughter of William Weld Esq., of Lulworth Castle, in the county of Dorset.
The marriage of Sir Edward Gascoigne was instrumental in bringing, some years later, the Hungate estate into the Gascoigne family. This inclusion brought about, almost a century later, a famous law suit. [See Note below]
During the period of the tenure of Richard Oliver Gascoigne, the basis of the estate was challenged in the courts as to the entitlement to certain portions of the estate, namely those that had come to the Gascoignes as a consequence of the marriage of Sir Edward Gascoigne to Mary daughter of Sir Francis Hungate. The famous law-suit Hungate vs Gascoigne was fought between the years 1830 and 1833. This case was brought by a William Anning Hungate, a lieutenant in the navy, who called himself Sir William and claimed descent in the direct male line from the brother of the father of Sir Francis Hungate, (i.e Mary Hungate's great uncle). He was unsuccessful!
Sir Edward Gascoigne lived at Parlington, on returning from his Grand Tour in 1726, uninterruptedly for seventeen years, until he and his family left for Cambrai, in Northern France, in May 1743. His departure along with his young family has never been fully explained, and probably never will be. However an article by Elisabeth Dunn for the Leeds Art Calendar in 1975, highlighting Sir Edward's Grand Tour, concludes from his diaries of the time that possible explanations for his departure were his wife Mary's ill-health, or because of Edward's wish to be near his sisters, who were nuns at the convent there. Additionally, a few factors which might give an insight into the reasons for leaving Britain are:
He was a Roman Catholic and known Papist.
This period was noted for the Jacobite unrest.
His will dated September 1742, months before departure.
Letters written at the time to Henry Ingram, 7th Viscount Irwin of Temple Newsam and still in existence, make it clear that Edward was impatient to return to Parlington, a wish he never fulfilled, he died on 16th May 1750 and was buried in the local monastry. On 26th May 1750 Henry Strickland wrote to Henry Ingram from Cambrai: 'If anything could add to my present affliction it would be the necessity I lie under to communicating it to all the friends of our once dearly beloved Sir Edward Gascoigne whom we lost on Sunday ... a quarter before twelve at night...'
With the death of Sir Edward, his son [Also Edward] became the 7th Baronet, he was born at Parlington 11th February 1743 and taken to Cambrai, when only three months old. [Does this fact lend weight to the view that Sir Edward and family left in some haste. Taking a small child on such a journey, could be seen as a risk.] The young heir may have remained in France throughout his youth as there is no record of him visiting England. He died in Paris of smallpox on 16th June 1762.
The Hall :: Sir Edward's Constructions
Contemporary writers have suggested that Sir Edward was not exactly the
life and soul of the party. A quiet and careful individual he kept a diary of his day to day activities. This enables us to be aware of some of his contribtions to Parlington Hall. Prior to Sir Edward scant information exists about the house, although it was already established at the time the Gascoignes' purchased the estate in the sixteenth century.
The best evidence comes from a seminal piece by Samual Buck, titled
Samuel Buck's Yorkshire Sketchbook. A facsimile was produced in 1979 by Wakefield Historical Publications. Click on the note icon to read the notes from the inside of the book dust cover.
The important manuscript here published for the first time is a unique record of views of Yorkshire towns and country houses. These are all drawn by one man in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. This man was Samuel Buck (1696-1779) architectural draughtsman, who prepared these sketches in connection with the work of his patron John Warburton, Somerset Herald. Evidence for the dating of the sketches can be found in the diary of Ralph Thoresby who records them being prepared in 1719-1720, and internal evidence of the drawings places some earlier than this. Wakefield Historical Publications are publishing the sketchbook in facsimile, printed by Scolar Press, with a scholarly introduction by Dr Ivan Hall. A very substantial undertaking containing well over 200 hundred sketches, the town prospects include Barnsley, Bevereley, Bradford, Guisborough, Knaresborough, Leeds, Rotherham, Wakefield, Yarm, and many more. Most of the major and minor country houses are shown, often before subsequent alterations which have obscured their early features, and the drawings include intricate detail of garden layout. In many cases the buildings which he drew have been destroyed, so that these sketches arte the only remaining memorials. The manuscript is often referred to by architectural historians but has never before been directly available for general use. The sketches form a detailed and delightful record of the Yorkshire of 250 years ago. A limited edition only is being prepared, available May 1979.
Samuel Buck's Yorkshire Sketchbook
Parlington Hall features at the centre top of this image, the sketch is very different from any of the later details available and makes it difficult to evaluate how the structure depicted here fits with the later information.
The modifications that were made during the time of Sir Edward are long lost, but his extensions to the main body of the hall are recorded in his diaries from the 1730's, which still survive and are held at the West Yorkshire Archives. The extensive Gascoigne collection in the WYA much of which is from the muniments room at Parlington. (the location of the room is a mystery!)
The central section I refer to is that which is shown on the photograph below, outlined in red, however investigations in the ground suggest that the Bay window was not part of the original design, but added in the nineteenth century. [See the section on the Hall for more information about the structure.]
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