The Eyre and Harcourt-Vernon Families of Grove and Rampton: A Brief History
The Eyres were a prominent family in Derbyshire from the medieval period onwards. One branch of the Eyre family, settled at Hassop, were well known as Roman Catholics in the 16th and 17th centuries. Another branch was based at Kiveton near Rotherham in Yorkshire, and Newbold near Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Anthony Eyre of Newbold and Kiveton, who died in 1575, was succeeded by his son Gervase and grandson Anthony. By his second marriage to Mary Babington, the younger Anthony Eyre acquired half of the manor of Rampton in Nottinghamshire. Kiveton and Newbold were sold and the remainder of the manor of Rampton purchased by Anthony's son Gervase (d 1645).
Now based principally at Rampton, the Eyre family began to serve as Members of Parliament and Justices of the Peace for Nottinghamshire. They also held an estate at Laughton en le Morthen in south Yorkshire, to which Anthony Eyre (c.1691-1748) moved after demolishing the old manor house at Rampton. He also bought an estate at Adwick le Street near Doncaster in 1733 and lived there until his death.
His son Anthony (1727-1788) increased his holdings in Nottinghamshire with his marriage in 1755 to Judith Laetitia Bury, great-niece and heiress of Sir Hardolph Wasteneys, 4th Baronet. This brought the manor of Headon into the family, and also lands around Bilsby in eastern Lincolnshire, inherited from the Johnson family.
In the 1760s, Anthony moved back to Nottinghamshire when he purchased the manor of Grove near East Retford, together with an estate at Grove, Little Gringley and Ordsall. He sold the Adwick estate in 1762 and the Laughton estate in 1767. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the core Eyre estate was consolidated by the purchase of small pieces of land in Little Gringley, Ordsall and neighbouring places. In 1830 the manor of Thurlby Grange in Lincolnshire was exchanged with the Duke of Portland for lands in Headon (see Pl E9/3).
On the death of Anthony Hardolph Eyre (1757-1836), the Eyre estates were split into two. The Rampton and Treswell estate was inherited by Anthony's youngest daughter Henrietta. It remained in the Eyre family, since she coincidentally married her cousin, and passed to her husband's brother the Rev. Charles Wasteneys Eyre. The Grove and Headon estates were inherited by another daughter, Frances Julia. They passed to her husband Granville Harcourt Vernon, and to a further four generations of the Harcourt-Vernon family. The Harcourt-Vernon family continued to be based at Grove, and to serve in local Nottinghamshire offices, until Lieutenant-Colonel Granville C.F. Harcourt-Vernon sold the Hall and the estate in 1946.
The descent of the main Rampton/Grove estate was as follows:
- Burke's Commoners
- Burke's Landed Gentry
- History of Parliament, 1790-1820
- History of Parliament, 1754-1790
- History of Parliament, 1690-1715
- History of Parliament, 1660-1690
Next page: Eyre Family Seats