HOME OF THE NOEL FAMILY
Later the residence
of the famous ADA LOVELACE ,
the mathematician click here for details
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
AND PARISH OF KIRKBY MALLORY By
HISTORY and ANTIQUITIES
of LEICESTERSHIRE By John Nichols
LADY BYRON AND
EARL SHILTON By David
Kirkby Hall was built by the Noel family
and dates back to the 17th century
John Noel, the younger
son of Andrew Noel, Sheriff of Rutland, married the heiress Anne
Fowler, daughter of John and Barbara Fowler. Barbara was
one of 4 daughters of Thomas Harvey of Elmsthorpe. In 1541, Thomas
Harvey had been granted the Lordship of the Manor of Kirkby Mallory
by King Henry VIII . Harvey died 3 years later and left Anne property
and estates at Elmsthorpe, Kirkby Mallory, Peckleton and Earl
Noel died in 1593 and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son
William who in 1604 was made High Sheriff of Leicester .William
Noel`s eldest son died without issue leaving his 2nd son Verney
to inherited the estates. Verny went on to marry Elizabeth Dixy,
the 2nd daughter of Sir Wolston Dixy, (Wolston was Knighted by
Charles 1st in 1604) .
Their only son William
married Margaret Lovelace, daughter of John Lord Lovelace.
For their Post Nuptial
agreement 1663, see Dudly Archives ref No.DE/2/188 (Blackcountryhistory)
Their eldest son
Thomas was to die without issue in 1688 leaving John Noel heir
to his brothers estate.
The earliest records for the Hall`s
existence, is the Hearth Tax returns for 1666 .
John Noel`s estate as described in a Rent Roll in 1696 is as follows
" The Manor of Kirkby Malory , The mansion house
with spacious fine gardens and orchard and belonging to it a very
fine wood . A large park very well wooded and stored with deer
The text then go`s
on to list some 32 names of the various tenants and the amount
of rent paid by each amounting to a total of £565 -10s -
0 . A reference was also made to the Wind Mill and Water Mill
on the estate, acknowledging payment in their case of £22.
click here to see enlargement
of Kirkby Hall
Edward Noel married Judith Lamb and succeeded to the title 9th
Baron Wentworth . His son and heir Thomas was born November 1745.
Three daughters were then to follow. Judith, Elizabeth and Sophia
born 1758. Tragically Lady Wentworth died in 1761. Sir Edward
died in 1774 and is buried at Kirkby Mallory alongside his wife.
His funeral was such that the Rector felt obliged to write the
following lines along side his entry in the Church Records Book.......
Edward Noel Lord Viscount 39 years was buried privately being
carried to church by 8 of his labourers & the pall bore by
10 tenants & their sons of this parish, his children, brother
& sister attending him to the grave.
Thomas Noel now
became 2nd Viscount Wentworth with his seat at Kirkby Mallory
Hall. His younger sister Sophia married Nathaniel Curzon , son
and heir of Lord Scarsdale of Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire . Elizabeth
married James Bland -Burges and Judith married Ralph Milbank on
the 9th of January 1777, the marriage taking place in Kirkby church.and
was performed by Judith`s uncle, the Rector Rowney Noel.
In 1788 at the age of 42 Lord Wentworth
(Thomas Noel ) married Mary, Countess Ligonier, but the marriage
produced no children .Lord Wentworth did however have two illegitimate
children, a daughter named Anna and a son Thomas. When Lord Wentworth
died in 1815 the bulk of his estate passed to his sister Judith
Milbank, then living at Seaham in County Durham . Forced by the
terms of the Will to change their names to Noel, Lady Judith and
Sir Ralph came to live at Kirkby Mallory Hall . Lady Judith not
only inherited the Manors of Kirkby Mallory but also of Peckleton,
Desford, Elmsthorpe, Barwell and Stapleton.
from poor health was to live at Kirkby for about seven years before
dying on the 28th of January 1822. so ending the Noel family association
with the village. However, Lady Judith and Sir Ralph Milbank as
he was then, had a daughter named Annabella .
In 1812 at the age of 20 Annabella
was living in London ,and it was while she was there that she
met the famous poet, Byron .
Lady Elizabeth Melbourne, (Annabella`s father's sister), being
one of the most fashionable hostesses in London had invited Byron
along with Annabella to one of her house parties. Three years
later on January 2nd 1815 George Byron, now the 6th Lord Byron
married Annbella Milbank . The marriage however was doomed to
failure, stories and gossip of Byrons alleged outrageous behaviour
made the relationship impossible .
However Lady Byron
did gave birth to a daughter on the 10th of December 1815. who
was subsequently named Augusta, Ada, Byron. The marriage had by
this time broken down irretrievably, so shortly after the birth,
Lady Byron took her daughter and moved to Kirkby Mallory Hall to stay with her parents Lady
Judith and Sir Ralph Noel, ( formally Milbank)
Lord Byron, finding
himself evermore alienated finally signed a deed of separation
and on the 23rd of April set sail from Dover for the continent,
never to see his daughter again.
After the separation,
Ada, was brought up by her mother at Kirkby Mallory Hall, receiving
her schooling under the supervision of several eminent tutors.
the death of Lady Judith in 1822 the hall stood empty as .
Lady Byron and Ada chose to live in various houses in the south,
while making only brief visits to the area for the purpose of administrating
THE BYRON SEALS
Many thanks to Mr.
David Jackson-Grant for sending in the photo-copies of the above
Byron seals. The reverse side of the cards all have identical
Belonging to Lady Byron
Presented to Lady Byron by Her Majesty
Seal of Admiral Byron who wrote the "Loss
of The Wager" called by the sailors "Foul Weather Jack"
further information on the above seals would be most welcome particularly
on "Foul Weather Jack"
The Hon. Augustus
Byron was the Rector of Kirkby Mallory church until his death
in 1902. His portrait hung in the school room for many years until
its closure in the late 60`s. Augustus was the third son of George
Anson Byron who in turn was cousin to Lord Byron the poet.
| Mrs Augustus Byron Miss
In 1833 the estate was bought by the Baroness Sophia de Clifford
who moved into the Hall in that year with her Husband and family
of 4 plus a staff of 14 servants. The family lived at the Hall
until the late 1880`s. Sophia had died in 1874 and was commemorated
by the villagers with a wall plaque inside the Church.
Clarkson Hartley was the last owner of the estate prior to the
sale in 1921 in which the Hall and the various properties were
sold off. The Hall again stood empty for several years until finally
being demolished about 1950. Following some considerable landscaping
work, a racing circuit was eventually constructed and the estate
became known as the "Mallory Park Racing Circuit".
For a more in depth account
of the Mallory Park Estate and the families who lived there, then
the recently published book comes highly recommended.
Portrait of a County Estate by Gareth Evans
ISBN O 951951910264