General history: Baronets

Pages lxiv-lxix

Magna Britannia: Volume 4, Cumberland. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1816.

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Musgrave of Edenhall, 1611. — The Musgraves are descended from the ancient baronial family of Musgrave in Westmorland. Sir Thomas Musgrave, who died in 1469 or 1470, married the elder daughter and coheir of Stapleton of Edenhall. His descendant, Sir Richard, who had been made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of King James, was created a baronet in 1611; and was the immediate ancestor of Sir Philip Musgrave, the present and eighth baronet. The descents have been lineal, except in the instance of Sir Richard, who died in 1687, leaving an only daughter and heiress married to Davyson of Blackston, in Durham, and was succeeded by his next brother. Besides the coheiress of Stapleton, the Musgraves have married coheiresses of Ward and Cogan.

Arms. — Azure, 6 annulets, three, two, one, Or.

Crest. — Out of a wreath, two arms counter-embowed, armed and gauntled, Proper, exhibiting an annulet, Or.

Musgrave of Hayton-castle, baronet of Nova Scotia, 1638.—The Musgraves of Hayton-castle, were descended from Nicholas, third son of Sir Thomas Musgrave, who married the coheiress of Stapleton: this Nicholas, who died in 1500, married the heiress of Colvill, of Hayton-castle, the representative of the Tilliols: his great-grandson was made baronet of Nova-Scotia, in 1638. Sir Richard Musgrave, the fifth baronet, bore the name of Hilton, pursuant to the will of his maternal uncle: his only daughter, Mrs. Joliffe, now possesses the Hayton-estate; the title went to his brother, Sir William, who died without issue; afterwards, to the late General Sir Thomas Musgrave, and is now enjoyed by (the ninth baronet in succession,) Sir James, son of the late Sir James Musgrave of Barnesley-park, in Gloucestershire, who died in 1814.

The Musgraves of Hayton, since the separation from the Edenhall branch, have married the coheiresses of Martindale, Sherburne, James, and Hedworth. (fn. n1)

Arms.—The same as Musgrave of Edenhall, with due difference.

The Musgraves of Crookdake were descended from William, fourth son of Sir Thomas Musgrave, who married the coheiress of Stapleton; this William married a coheiress of Colvill alias Tilliol. One of the coheiresses of Musgrave of Crookdake married Sir John Ballantine, of whom Joseph Dykes Ballantine Dykes, Esq. is the representative.

Graham of Esk and Netherby, 1628 and 1782. — The Grahams of the borders are supposed to have been descended from John, second son of the first Earl of Monteith. Richard second son of Fergus Graham of Plump, in the parish of Kirk-Andrews on Esk, was created a baronet in 1628, being described as Graham of Eske. The second son of Sir Richard Graham having settled at Norton-Conyers, in Yorkshire, was created a baronet in 1662, and was ancestor of Sir Bellingham Graham, Bart. Sir George, the second baronet of Esk, resided at Netherby, the present family seat: his son, Sir Richard, was in 1680, created Viscount Preston of the kingdom of Scotland; after the revolution, being apprehended in a boat on the river Thames, as he was about to leave the kingdom for the purpose of joining the abdicated monarch, he was tried and found guilty of high treason, but after a time received a pardon. Upon the death of Charles, the third viscount without issue in 1739, the title of baronet devolved to Charles, elder son of Dr. William Graham, some time Dean of Carlisle, fourth son of Sir George, the second baronet; but it was not, we believe, for some years claimed, nor is any account of this family inserted in the baronetages of 1741 or 1773. The title has been claimed, and is now enjoyed by Sir Robert Graham, the immediate descendant of the above-mentioned Charles, who is engaged in a mercantile concern, and resides in London. In the year 1782 James Graham, Esq. whose father, Dr. Robert Graham, second son of the Dean of Carlisle, had inherited the Netherby estate under the will of Lady Widdrington, surviving sister and sole heiress of the last Lord Preston, was created a baronet, and is the present possessor of Netherby. The first baronet married a coheiress of Musgrave of Cumcatch.

Arms of Graham: — Quarterly, 1 and 4. O. on a chief Sable, 3 escallops of the field, 2 and 3. Or, a fesse checky, Arg. and Az. in chief a chevron G. all within a border engrail'd, Argent.

Crest: — Issuing from a wreath O. and S. a demivol, Or.

Fletcher of Clea-Hall, 1782. — The Fletcher family are descended from William Fletcher, a merchant of Cockermouth, who lived in the reign of Henry VIII.; his great grandson Henry Fletcher, Esq. of Hutton, was created a baronet in 1640. Sir Thomas, the third baronet, embraced the Roman Catholic religion, retired into a convent at Douay, and dying without issue, the title and the male line of the elder branch of the family became extinct.

Sir Henry Fletcher, who was created a baronet in 1782, was descended from Philip, third son of Thomas Fletcher of Cockermouth, (grandfather of the first baronet,) who married the heiress of Musgrave of Clea-Hall, about the beginning of the seventeenth century. Sir Henry died in 1807, and was succeeded by his son of the same name, who is the present baronet.

Arms: — Arg. a cross engrailed Sable, between four roundles of the second, each charged with a pheon of the field.

Crest: — An horse's head Argent, charged with a trefoil, Gules.

Fletcher-Vane of Hutton, 1786. — Lionel Wright Vane Fletcher, son of Walter Vane, Esq. of Hutton, who had taken the name of Fletcher, and grandson of Lionel Vane, Esq. of Long-Newton, in the county palatine of Durham, by Catherine, sister of Sir Thomas Fletcher, the last baronet of the Hutton branch, was created a baronet in 1786, and was father of Sir Frederic Fletcher Vane, the present baronet, of Hutton and of Armathwaite.

Arms: — Or, three sinister gauntlets and a canton, Gules.

Crest: — An armed arm, embowed, couped at the shoulder, grasping a sword, all Proper.

The Fletchers of Moresby descended from William, the elder son of Henry Fletcher of Cockermouth, who lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, became extinct by the death of Thomas Fletcher, Esq. before the middle of the last century. The Fletchers of Tallantire descended from Lancelot, third son of Henry Fletcher above-mentioned, became extinct by the death of Henry Fletcher, Esq. one of whose coheiresses married Partis of Newcastle.

Briscoe of Crofton, 1782. — This ancient family were originally of Briscoe, near Carlisle, where they are traced three generations before the reign of Edward I. Their descendant, John Briscoe, Esq. was created a baronet in 1782, and was father of Sir Wastell Briscoe, the present baronet.

This family have married the heiresses of Crofton and Skelton, of Pettril-Wray. By the former they acquired Crofton, which has long been the seat of the family.

Arms: — Arg. three greyhounds current, in pale, Sable.

Crest: — A greyhound, current, Sable, seizing a hare, Proper.

Walsh of Ormathwaite, 1804. — Sir John Benn Walsh, who, in 1794, took the name of Walsh by the King's sign manual, pursuant to the will of his wife's uncle, is descended from the Benns of Moor-row, in Cumberland, and son of William Benn, Esq. who married the grand-daughter of the late Dr. William Brownrig, of Ormathwaite, near Keswick. Sir John Benn Walsh is the present proprietor of Ormathwaite, but does not reside in Cumberland.

Arms: — Arg. a fesse, Sable, cottised, wavy, Gul. between six martlets of the second.

Crest: — A griffin's head erased, per fesse wavy, Arg. and Erm. beak and ears, Or.

Graham of Edmond Castle, 1808. — Sir James Graham, M.P. descended from a family who had long possessed a freehold estate in the parish of Hayton, on which is a mansion, now called Edmond Castle, was created a baronet in 1808.

Arms: — Per pale, indented, Erminois and Sable, on a chief, per pale, Sable and Or, three escallops, counterchanged.

Crest: — A castle, from the battlements issuant two arms embowed in armour, Proper, garnished, Or, the arms supporting an escallop of the last.

Extinct Baronets.

Radcliffe of Derwentwater, 1619. — See Earl of Derwentwater.

Curwen of Workington, 1626.—This ancient family were descended from Ivo de Talbois, who married Elgiva, daughter of Ethelred, King of England, their immediate descent being from Orme, second son of Ketel, grandson of the said Ivo. Sir Patric Curwen (fn. n2), the lineal descendant of Orme, was created a baronet in 1626. The title became extinct by his death in 1664, but the male line of the family was continued by a younger brother, and became extinct in 1778, by the death of the late Henry Curwen, Esq. His only daughter, the last of this ancient family, married her cousin, John Christian, Esq. of Unerigg, who in 1790 took the name of Curwen by the King's sign manual, in addition to his own. This family have married the coheiresses of Dalston and Selby.

Arms: — Arg. fretty, Gules, a chief, Azure.

Crest: — An unicorn's head erased, Arg. armed, Or.

Dalston of Dalston-hall, 1640.—This ancient family were descended from a younger brother of Hubert de Vaux, Lord of Gilsland, who took the name of Dalston, from the place of his residence. His immediate descendant, Sir William Dalston, a great royalist, was created a baronet in 1640. The title became extinct in 1765, by the death of Sir George Dalston, the fourth baronet, who resided in Yorkshire; Sir George left an only daughter, married to a French gentleman of the name of Dillon. The title was assumed some time after Sir George's death by Captain John Dalston, who probably was led to believe that he had a claim to it as heir male of the Acorn-bank branch of the family, which became extinct by the death of Sir William Dalston, Knight, about the year 1770, but it could not be well founded, because the Acorn-bank family branched off long before the Dalstons became baronets, being descended from a younger son of Thomas Dalston, Esq. who lived in the reign of Henry VIII. by a second marriage with a coheiress of Carlisle. Captain Dalston left no male issue, and the family is supposed to be now entirely extinct. The coheiresses of Kirkbride, Warcop, and Thomworth, married into the family of Dalston, of Dalston.

Arms: — Argent, a chevron engrailed between three daws heads erased, Sable.

Crest: — On a ducal crown, a falcon's head, issuing, Proper.

Lowther of Whitehaven, 1642, extinct in 1757. — See Lowther, Earl of Lonsdale.

Lawson of Isel, 1688. — The Lawsons were descended from a family of considerable antiquity in Yorkshire; they came into Cumberland in consequence of the marriage of Sir Wilfred Lawson, Knight, with the widow of Thomas Leigh of Isel, by whose gift he became possessed of that estate. Sir Wilfred the grandson of his brother Gilfred, was created a baronet in 1688. The title became extinct by the death of Sir Wilfred, the eighth baronet, in 1806. Wilfred, a younger son of Thomas Wybergh, Esq., who inherits the Lawson estates under Sir Wilfred's will, has taken the name of Lawson.

Arms: — Per pale, Arg. and Sable, a chevron counterchanged.

Crest: — On a wreath, two flexed arms, Arg. supporting the sun, Proper.


  • n1. The coat of Hedworth is not quartered by the present family, the coheiress of that name having been the wife of Sir Richard Hilton, who died in 1755, 8. p. m.
  • n2. See the origin of the name, p. 172.