The Gascoignes :: Late Eighteenth Century

Sir Thomas Gascoigne 8th Baronet

Sir Thomas Gascoigne, was the third son, and youngest child of Sir Edward mentioned in the previous page. He inherited the Baronetcy after the death of his elder brother Edward in 1762, the first born John Francis (1741) died young. Thomas was one of six children that Sir Edward and his wife brought into the world, little is known of the daughters: Mary (b:1734), Elizabeth (b:1735), Catherine (b:1737), all born at Parlington, as was John. However it is not possible to determine the ages of the females relative to the males with the information to hand, presumably the order is the inheritance positioning. Given time some facts of the female line may be uncovered but for now the story focuses on the male inheritance. Later research uncovered additional facts about the children of Sir Edward and his wife. Lately [2012] a friend and fellow historian, Pauline Robson, uncovered a baptism notice in the West Yorkshire Archives. [See below]

Baptism Document: Thomas Philip Stephen Gascoigne

View Larger version here.
Thomas, the youngest born 7th March 1745 in Cambrai, and as was the custom he was baptised the following day. A week after his birth his sister Catherine, aged 7 died! Within the space of a few years from the family arrival in Cambrai (1743), Sir Edward's son John died, May 1748, Catherine, died as mentioned above, March 1745, then Elizabeth, died about 1749, finally to put the lid on things, so to speak, Sir Edward expired, May 1750.

Cambrai, doesn't come across as the splendid French monastery it appears in our times, Sir Edward's escape, as I'm sure that's what it was, given his religion and the Jacobite problems of the day in England and Scotland, did his family no good at all. Consider this: March 1745, six children and two parents, then just over a decade later after Mary, the eldest child of Sir Edward, died in May 1756, only a year after marrying, only two children (Edward & Thomas) along with their remarried mother, were living, however by June 1762, Thomas's elder brother Edward died of smallpox in Paris. At that point only Thomas along with Lady Gascoigne, (Mrs Strickland after 1753) remained, and in 1764 she died, leaving Sir Thomas, at the young age of 19 as the only Gascoigne in that line.


Sir Thomas, by then 39, was married on the 4th November, 1784 to Mary, daughter of James Shuttleworth, of Gawthorpe, she being previously married to Sir Charles Turner who had died in late October 1783. Sir Charles owned a house in Aberford and was probably a friend of Sir Thomas, it is said that “Church House”, his residence was later modified and stone from the property was used at Parlington. The house may have passed to the Gascoigne family as a result of the marriage.

Mary died within one month of the birth of her son on 1st February 1786 aged only 34 years of age, leaving Sir Thomas widow with one step child from Mary's marriage to Sir Charles Turner and his only son Tom. Mary is recorded [Colman 1908] as having two other children, but I have no record of them.

The following paragraph is taken from the Rev F S Colman “History of Barwick in Elmet”, relating to Sir Thomas.
In addition to his other activities Sir Thomas was a keen agriculturalist; he had a large home farm at Parlington and kept Coldhill Farm [on the road between Lotherton and Sherburn in Elmet] in his own hands on the principle of a model farm and an example to his tenants. He commanded the 1st Regiment West Riding Militia in 1797, and was a great patron of the Turf. In those days owners trained their race horses at home, sending them to training stables for the last fornight or so before the races for which they were entered. The ranges that of enclosed paddocks that formed part of the racing stables are still to be seen at Parlington, [Still in existence in the 21st cetury, but used as a free range chicken run] and it is worth recalling that Sir Thomas cared so far for the lads he employed in these stables that he retained a school master for their education.

Besides many minor races he won the St Ledger in 1778 with Hollandaise, and again in 1798 with Symetry, the Oaks at Epsom 1803 with Theophania, and the Doncaster Cup with Tuberose in 1776.

Bookplate for Thomas Gascoigne

The bookplate was popular with the landed gentry, as they established their libraries, following the death of Frederick Charles Trench Gascoigne in 1905 the Parlington library collection was sold at auction in Leeds. To date it is not known what books were contained in the library, nor the location of the room. This bookplate was another acquisition from eBay, whether it ever graced the inside of a book in the library at Parlington is another mystery!

Sir Thomas was the last of the Gascoigne bloodline, a few months before he died in 1810 his only son Tom Gascoigne was killed in an accident whilst hunting. So ended the Gascoigne line, Sir Thomas changed his will following the tragedy to grant his step daughter and husband Richard Oliver an inheritance to a lifetime interest in the estate, with future inheritance dependant upon them having issue. In the event that no children were conceived or none were to survive beyond that of Richard Oliver, the estate would have passed to the Wentworth Family.

Death of Thomas Charles Gascoigne

The heir to the Gascoigne dynasty, Tom was tragically mortally injured whilst hunting with the Earl of Scarborough, the London Times obituary View Page Extract stated:
Mr Thomas Gascoige, of Parlington, met with a fatal accident on Friday 13th inst. while engaged in the chace with Lord Scarborough's hounds in the neighborhood of Worksop. Impelled by the ardour of the pursuit, he encountered a very dangerous leap, contrary to the advice of some more experienced sportsmen, and though his horse cleared the hedge, the rider was thrown by the rebound with his back against a strong branch of a tree, and the concussion was so violent as to affect the spinal marrow, and instantly paralize the lower extremities. He was immediately taken from the field to Sir Thomas White's, where he died at nine o'clock on Friday evening.

Caricature of Tom Gascoigne, held at Lotherton Hall

Death Notice in the Leeds Mercury 11th Nov 1809

[Added January 2021] The notice begins, "The late Mr Gascoigne.
The following pathetic inscription, from the pen of his father, is to be placed on the tomb of this much-lamented young Gentleman."

The date from the Leeds Mercury of the 20th is contradictory to the London Times obituary but concurrs with the date given of the accident by Rev Colman in the History of Barwick in Elmet, he cites the 20th of October and Tom's subsequent burial at Barwick on the 28th, when as stated in a contemporary broadsheet, over two thousand persons were present and above four hundred of his father's tenants.

If Tom was killed on the 13th of October, then for those who are superstitious, it is worth noting that it was Friday 13th! However what intrigued me about the account is putting the event in context on the ground, so to speak, as we approach two hundred years since the unfortunate incident. The Earls of Scarborough had their family seat at Sanbeck Park, near Maltby in what is now called South Yorkshire, then the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Sanbeck Hall

Information on the Earls of Scarborough can be found here Rotherham web. At the time of the accident the then Lord would have been Richard Lumley Saunderson, 6th Earl of Scarborough [1757-1832], he was suceeded by his younger brother the Rev. John Lumley-Saville [1760-1835] who had the misfortune of a similar fate to young Tom Gascoigne, as he was killed by falling from his Horse while Fox Hunting, near Markham Moor on 24th February 1835.

If the hunt had commenced at or near Sandbeck, then it was only about four miles away as the crow flies to Wallingwells where the mortally injured Tom was taken, as can be seen from this Ordnance Survey map image.

Sanbeck Hall & Wallingwells Map View

The location of the two estates used during the hunting can be seen in larger scale by visiting the National Library of Scotland Maps website for a view of the location from around 1900.

Wallingwells was the home of Sir Thomas Woollaston White, whether he was riding with the hunting party is not known. Additional information on Wallingwells can be found here Wallingwells


The untimely death of Tom Gascoigne raises a number of questions, had the young rider been drinking, which compromised his ability to take the leap on his horse, we will probably never know! Was his father also amongst the riders on that fateful day and most significantly was Richard Oliver [later Gascoigne] the husband of Tom's step-sister present! These points could lead a suspicious mind to the conclusion that a foul deed was afoot that autumn morning! Within four months with the death of Sir Thomas Gascoigne in February 1810, Richard Oliver was to inherit a lifetime interest in the Gascoigne Estate!

More on Tom Gascoigne

Recently contributed memorabilia from relatives of the Gascoigne family, now at Lotherton Hall, include a further caricature of Tom Gascoigne* and on the rear of the engraving is a short song... Then Bland and Tom Gascoigne I spy in the van,
Riding hard as two devils at catch as catch can,
But racing along to try which can get first,
Already, I see, both their horses are burst.
[chorus] With my Bally namonaorna [The word here is unclear!]
The hounds of old Raby for me.
from Howell Wood or the Raby hunt in Yorkshire, a song written by the Hon Martin B. E. Hawke in February 1803.
*The accident from which he died was caused by his horse leaping so high that on stooping to avoid the bough of a tree the upper most bone of the spine was bruised and fatally injured.
Below the song is written, Thomas Gascoigne Esq., of Parlington near Aberford Son of Sir Thomas Gascoigne Bart Killed when hunting on the 20th [Unclear due to the tear]
Bland is probably the nickname used by Martin B. E. (Bladen Edward) Hawke in the poem above.

Rear of the Engraving

Tom Gascoigne by C. Turner

Duel 1807

(From The Hull Packet (Yorkshire, England),Tuesday, June 9, 1807) A duel took place on Monday morning last, a few miles from York, between Mr. Mellish and the Hon. Martin Hawke, in which Mr Mellish was wounded, but it is understood not dangerously. They are both in the interest of Lord Milton. - Sir Thomas Gascoigne's son [Tom, later killed in a riding accident see here] was second to Mr Hawke; and Mr. Lee to Mr. Mellish.

The Duelist Martin Hawke

Looking at one of the characters involved in the duel, the Hon Martin Bladen Edward Hawke, for whom Tom Gascoigne seconded, it was easy to identify him, he was the grandson of Admiral Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke of Towton born in 1705; there is a pub in Boston Spa, called the Admiral Hawke, and the Gascoigne family owned the Spa in the village! The admirals son, Martin Bladen Hawke, 2nd Baron Hawke of Towton was the father of the dueler. His father had married Cassandra Turner, and Martin was their fourth child. Confusingly Cassandra Turner was not related to Mary Turner the wife of Sir Charles Turner, who after the death of her first husband married Sir Thomas Gascoigne, and was the mother of Tom Gascoigne! Her daughter born to her first marriage to Sir Charles Turner, Mary, married Richard Oliver and following the death of Sir Thomas Gascoigne in 1810 her husband inherited the Gascoigne estates, with a lifetime interest. Martin Blaiden Edward Hawke was born in 1777 and died in 1839, so he was 30 years old at the time of the duel. I wonder what the duel was over!

A Bit of History about the Hawke Dynasty

The 1st Baron Hawke, was sent to Minorca after the debacle created by Admiral John Byng. From Wikipedia: Hawke was sent to replace Byng as commander in the Mediterranean in 1756. Byng had been unable to relieve Minorca following the Battle of Minorca and he was sent back to Britain where he was tried and executed. Almost as soon as Minorca had fallen in June 1756, the French fleet had withdrawn to Toulon in case they were attacked by Hawke. Once he arrived off Minorca, Hawke found that the island had surrendered and there was little he could do to reverse this. He decided not to land the troops he had brought with him from Gibraltar.
Hawke then spent three months cruising off Minorca and Marseille before returning home where he gave evidence against Byng. He was subsequently criticised by some supporters of Byng, for not having blockaded either Minorca or Toulon.
Later in 1770 Hawke, in his role as First Lord of the Admiralty, mobilised the Royal Navy to re-establish British rule over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. See details on wikipedia here.

Scarthingwell Hall, Hawke Residence in Yorkshire

Noted in a book titled: The Beauties of England and Wales, or, Original Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive of each County. Vol XIV; dated 1819 by a collection of authors, on page 629 details information about the seat of the Right Honorable Lord Hawke.

Scarthingwell Hall.
About five miles south-eastward from Tadcaster is the seat of the Right Honorable Lord Hawke, a nobleman justly celebrated for his agricultural improvements...
<End Quote>

To the right in the photograph is the attached Catholic Church, this is still intact and in regular use. The hall was demolished around 1960 being no longer required by the owners. Today it is the location of a care home in the Barchester Group, however the church, grounds and lake along with an old walled garden are still intact and give some clues to the former stature of the landscape with the many mature specimen trees; Cedar of Lebanon amongst others. The park landscape was designed by John Davenport, nurseryman for Lord Hawke in the period 1790-1. The ornamental lake featured a bridge across it, but details of this feature are unclear. There is land bridge across a leg of the lake which is at ninety degrees to the main layout running roughly north south. Whether this is where the bridge was I am unsure. To see the lake on Google Maps click on the link.

Handwritten Book [Added: 14/1/2011]

The picture below is of the title page of a comprehensive handwritten manuscript given to Sir Thomas Gascoigne in 1770.

The hand written book is shown as given to Sir Thomas Gascoigne by the Heraldic Arms following the words, Presented to and further down the page the givers, Arms preceded the word By. So who did present this book to Sir Thomas, and for what purpose? We know that it was etiquette for unmarried or widowed women to display their coat of arms inside of a diamond shape (or rhombus) called a lozenge.

The date of the documents is 1770 [MDCCLXX] and the subject Extracts from Crevier's Live's of the Roman Emperors is taken from the book by Jean Baptiste Louis Crevier, titled: Crevier's History of the Roman Emperors. Crevier's book must have been pre 1760 as it was reviewed in the Critical Review or, Annals of literature, Vol 9, 1760. The book of extracts being hand written with small illustrations runs to over 300 pages, a considerable effort must have gone into its production by the unknown lady, her intentions towards Sir Thomas can only be imagined. A clue might surface if anyone can place the heraldic emblem which she provided on the title page. A larger version of which is shown below.

Close up of the Heraldic Emblem

Comments since Publication

A number of readers suggested contacting the Royal College of Arms, and one reader a keen Numismatist provided additional information about the book from which the copy was made.
Histoire des empereurs romains depuis Auguste jusqu'a Constantin par M. Crevier published 1750

The English translation :
The history of the Roman emperors from Augustus to Constantine.
Translated from the French by John Mills published 1755.

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