Rosemary Webb Rehill - " I remember it well. I'm Catholic and went to that small musty chapel until I was about nine when the new church in Cleobury was built. It was a great shame that the new owners, the Galliers-Prats demolished it. Mum helped clean out the vestments and I always remember her telling me that Joseph Bonaparte's son was christened there. (he was Napolean's brother)."
Trev Teasdel - " I didn't know about Mawley Hall until now but it was owned originally by the Blount family (the name of one of the school houses!). They were wealthy coal owners and ironfounders and prominent Catholics and Walter Blount became a Baronet! As Royalists their wealth declined during the civil war and returned during the restoration."
The entrance to the estate was just past Cherry Orchard on the A4117 Cleobury to Bewdley Road.
Trev Teasdel did a search to find out more about Joseph Bonaparte and Mawley Hall and how he came to be christened there. He found that it wasn't Joseph Boneparte but Louis Lucien Bonaparte
|Louis Lucien Bonaparte baptised at Mawley Hall|
The full peerage can be viewed here http://thepeerage.com/p4495.htm
Trev wondered why Louis Lucien Bonaparte came to be born in England and baptised at Mawley Hall in Shropshire. Didn't Napoleon banish the Catholic church in France and replace it with the Church of Reason during the Enlightenment?
Trev sought some enlightenment from the Internet -
" Louis-Lucien Bonaparte, the comparative linguist and dialectologist, was born in England by chance. In 1810 his father, Lucien, was detained at sea by the British when on his way into exile in America following the breakdown of his relations with his brother, Napoléon I. Interned in England, Lucien was permitted to buy Thorngrove, a house near Worcester, and it was there that Louis-Lucien was born on 4 January 1813. The family's stay in England was brief, however, for they returned to their Italian estate in 1814. Louis-Lucien grew up in Italy. He attended the Jesuit college at Urbino before devoting himself to the study of mineralogy and chemistry. In 1832 he married Maria Anna Cecchi, the daughter of a Florentine sculptor, but the marriage was to be an unhappy one and the couple lived apart. He participated in the first Riunione degli Scienziati Italiani at Pisa and his earliest works, all on scientific subjects, were published in Italy. " http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelplang/spanish/hispcoll/hispexhibl/bonaparte/bonaparte.html
Rosemary then took us even further back in time -
Rosemary Webb Rehill "O.k. so I got the wrong Bonaparte! but I knew it was a fact. A bit more history for you and this I learned last summer; Henry V111's lover was one of the Blounts and she had a son by him but because the baby was illegitimate obviously it was not recognized. Supposedly he is buried under the big tree in the back of the house. I do have a very vague memory of Lord and Lady Blount. They were both very old when we went to the chapel. We went to see their graves last summer and they were very overgrown. As they had no issue everything was sold off."
Trev took up the challenge to verify this and found that the illegitimate son - Henry FitzRoy was indeed recognised -
|Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount|
Rosemary Webb Rehill "That's so interesting! Thank you for sharing."
|Catherine of Aragon|
Mawley Hall is also the location for The Weather in the Streets and Straightheads - although this is not a film for the faint hearted! Straightheads involves rape and other violence although an interesting plot - according to Wiki, where as The weather in the Streets is described as " Passion comes calling when a man suffering through an unhappy marriage in 1920s England runs into first love." There are also public footpaths around the Hall and down to the River Rea.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
Mawley Hall is a privately owned 18th-century country mansion near Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, England. It is a Grade I listed building.
The Blount family of Sodington Hall, Mamble, Worcestershire, wealthy coalowners and ironfounders, acquired estates in neighbouring Shropshire. They were prominent Roman Catholics, and Walter Blount was created a baronet in 1624 (see Blount Baronets). As Royalist supporters and on the losing side during the English Civil War they suffered financial difficulties in the 17th century, but their fortunes recovered following the English Restoration of 1660. In 1730 Sir Edward Blount commissioned Francis Smith of Warwick to design a new mansion house for the estate at Mawley. It is built on a rectangular plan of nine by seven bays with a nine bay three storey entrance front to the north east. The advanced three central bays carry Doric pilasters and pediment. The garden front to the south west is similar in design and decoration with a cental entrance approached by a double flight of steps with wrought iron ballustrades. The house is particularly noted for its Baroque interiors, plasterwork by Francesco Vassalli and the Adam style dining room.
Coming soon - In a forthcoming post - Rosemary Webb Rehill has some more material and photos to share on here for Mawley Hall!