Manuscripts and Special Collections

The Thoroton Hildyard Family of Screveton and Flintham: A Brief History

The Thoroton family were small landowners in Nottinghamshire from medieval times, and took their name from the village of Thoroton in the south of the county. The branch represented in this collection descended from Robert Thoroton (1601-1673) and his wife Anne Chambers. Their eldest son, Dr Robert Thoroton of Car Colston (1623-1678), was the famous historian who published the 'Antiquities of Nottinghamshire' in 1677. His Car Colston property passed to his elder daughter Anne Sherard (1650-1729) and thence to the More-Molyneux family. Their younger son Thomas Thoroton (1636-1695) bought Kirketon Hall (later known as Screveton Hall) and the manor of Screveton in 1685. Screveton Hall became the principal family home.

Robert Thoroton (1692-1751) inherited a half-share of an estate at Alfreton and Swanwick, Derbyshire, from his cousin Mrs Elizabeth Turner who died in 1744, and her son Charles Turner (1677-1736), a London lawyer. The Thorotons and Turners were involved in various coal and lead-mining pursuits in Derbyshire. Robert's marriage to Mary Blackborne, née Levett, in 1723 ultimately brought wealth into the Thoroton family. Mary's eldest son Levett Blackborne (d 1781) was a lawyer and trustee for the Thoroton family, and left the £20,000 proceeds of sale of his Kew estate in his will for his half-brother Thomas Thoroton and his heirs.

The Thorotons' horizons were expanded with the marriage of Thomas Thoroton (1723-1794) to Roosilia Drake, illegitimate daughter of the 3rd Duke of Rutland. Thomas acted as agent and secretary to the duke, and the patronage of the Duke of Newcastle and Lord Granby ensured him a parliamentary career. The sale of the Alfreton estate in 1789 was probably arranged in order to fund Thomas's purchase of Flintham House in Nottinghamshire, which became the family's principal residence. The next two owners both married heiresses, were involved in the local Volunteer and Militia regiments, and made many improvements to Flintham House, the park, and the church. Colonel Thomas Blackborne Thoroton assumed the surname Hildyard in 1815 as a consequence of his marriage, and the acquisition of the Hildyard family's estates based around Winestead Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. His son Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard (1821-1888) was an M.P., J.P., and Deputy Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire, and subsequent generations carried on the tradition of local service. Financial pressures led to the sale of the Winestead estate in 1885, and the bulk of the Screveton estate was sold in 1918. However, Flintham Hall continues to be owned by members of the Hildyard family.

The descent of the main Screveton/Flintham estate was as follows:

  • Robert Thoroton (1601-1673), of Car Colston
  • Thomas Thoroton (1636-1695), citizen and salter of London
  • Thomas Thoroton (1663-1721), Recorder of Lincoln
  • Robert Thoroton (1692-1751), of Screveton
  • Thomas Thoroton (1723-1794), of Screveton
  • Colonel Thomas Thoroton (1753-1813), of Screveton and Flintham
  • Colonel Thomas Blackborne Hildyard (1788-1830), of Flintham Hall
  • Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard (1821-1888), of Flintham Hall
  • Thomas Blackborne Thoroton Hildyard (1843-1928), of Flintham Hall
  • Gerald Moresby Thoroton Hildyard (1874-1956), of Flintham Hall
  • Myles Thoroton Hildyard (1914-2005), of Flintham Hall


Genealogical Sources


Next page: Thoroton Hildyard Family Seats

Manuscripts and Special Collections

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