When the old Rector died in 1780, his son Thomas came into possession of the property at Osgathorpe and elsewhere, under the terms of his grandfather's Will, which have already been set forth. Thomas was living with his grandfather at Stordon Grange when that venerable man died in 1750, at which time he was 26 years of age. He married Jane Bage [born in 1732. Ed.] at Stenton near Swarston Bridge, Derbyshire, January 3, 1749. By this marriage he had eleven children who followed each other in rapid succession from 1753 to 1770. Hence it will appear that when his grandfather's property came to him on the old Rector's death in 1780 he had long borne the burden of five sons and six daughters who were then varying between the ages of 27 and 10. If he and his children were not, as they are said not to have been, of a frugal turn, there is no difficulty in supposing that the resources of the inheritance may have already in some measure been forestalled. At any rate, the education and disposal in life of so many children will remove any surprise when we find that no more is heard of the Osgathorpe Estate, and that no Will or other disposal of property on the part of this Thomas has yet been found. No doubt the exigences of his large family had swept all away. He did not attain to the days of the years of the life of his fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. He died July 10, 1785 only five years after the old Rector his father. He was buried in a vault specially constructed for his family in Osgathorpe churchyard near the north porch of the Church, it is surrounded by an iron palisading, and has been recently renovated by the care of the present writer [JB. Ed.] On a headstone at the west end of the railings the following inscription constitutes the record:-
This vault has been since used as it seems
somewhat unfairly by the family of Taberer, connected with Thomas
Boultbee only by the marriage of one of his granddaughters [Sarah, Ed.].
A flat stone within the railings recording their names has given the
impression that the vault is their's, but it will be the duty of our
family to claim it and to keep it in repair.
It is not known that any portrait of this Thomas Boultbee is in existence. [JB notes, dated June, 1889 -- TPB found that Miss Boultbee had a pencil sketch of him and his daughters also. These he had photographed and I have one of each. They, or copies of them, have survived, with one exception, and we reproduce that of Thomas below. Those of his daughters, the exception is Mary, will be found in Chapter VII -- . The Miss Boultbee mentioned is Susannah, click on her name for more . Ed.]
He was remarkable for his fine person, and
unusual muscular power, of the exercise of which his grandson used to
relate stories not now distinctly remembered. His height was 6 ft 2 ins;
sufficiently stately proportions, but not attaining to the grand
stature of the Old Rector his father.
The marriage of his father with Lucy Shirley brought this Thomas Boultbee into rather frequent communication with her family. He was accustomed to narrate some singular anecdotes of interviews with Lawrence, 4th Earl Ferrers, who is unhappily known in history as having been executed at Tyburn in 1760 for the murder of his Steward under peculiarly painful circumstances. It is one of the Causes Célèbres of criminal annals, and to this day it is disputed how far it ought to have been dealt with as a case of insanity. Thomas Boultbee is said to have been well aware of the dangerous and homicidal tendency in the nature of his cousin the Earl that he carried pistols with him when he had occasion to see him. [At Staunton Harold Hall. Ed.] In one of these interviews the Earl quietly locked the door and put the poker into the fire. The visitor is said with equal coolness to have put his hand into his pocket and drawing a pistol to have laid it on the table before him, fixing his eye steadily on his dangerous host as he did so. The Earl gradually slipped the poker out of the fire, and took an opportunity to unlock the door, our forefather then concluded his business in peace. Certainly a man of gigantic strength was not one with whom even the mad Earl could trifle. Such stories used to be related among his grandchildren but this is the only one that has come down to the writer [JB. Ed.] in any definite form. [A pencil note in JB's copy of the History by his son Walter Ernest says that the latter heard this story -- as a lad of ten -- in about 1863 from his Uncle Joe, at Bidford, and that he thinks he remembers also hearing that Thomas was a great sufferer from gravel -- the old name for kidney stones. Uncle Joe is Commander Joseph Bage Boultbee, R.N. -- click for more -- who in 1863 would have been 72. We shall meet him again, using his vivid powers of narration to pass on fascinating tales of the past to his young nephew. Ed.]
Click below for
Staunton Harold Hall
(written by the Editors)
Click below for
Staunton Harold Chapel (Holy Trinity)
(written by the Editors)
TPB continues ...
Her memorial inscription shows that Jane Boultbee survived her husband only four years. Several portraits of her exist painted apparently when she was about fifty years of age. Even at that age they show sufficient traces of what she must have been in her youth to justify the tradition which remains that she was remarkably beautiful. Clear hazel eyes under an open brow, a still rounded cheek and small well formed mouth with lips which had not lost the cherry tint of youth give the idea of what had been a lovely face.
(written by JB)
Older members of the family, with whom the writer has conversed who have seen her children, have concurred in saying that rarely has there been seen a group of so distinguished an appearance. With scarcely any exception they were tall and stately in person, as well as handsome in feature. Only one died before her mother, consumption carried away Sarah at the age of 19. She is said to have been of the rarest loveliness.
In those days the County Towns were the centre of resort to the County families, and gaieties of the Ball and the Theatre at Derby were sufficient for all but the few who might occasionally go up to the Metropolis. When Sarah Boultbee in her beauty entered the Theatre at Derby it is remembered that all eyes were drawn to her. The only relic of this long faded flower is a single tress of rich dark brown hair in the possession of the writer. In an old fashioned hand, the name and date have been inscribed on the packet by one of the family with this plaintive sign of affection -- Lovely even in death! O dear remembrance!
TPB continues ...
When with the regularity of the olden time Thomas Boultbee with his wife Jane crossed the drawbridge at Stordon Grange on a Sunday morning and followed by his eleven children passed through the few fields that separated them from the church at Osgathorpe, the group of stalwart men and fair maidens formed a rare spectacle of beauty in man and woman. It is remembered in the family, as the common remark of the country folk, that two such beautiful persons as Thomas and Jane Boultbee were never seen before.
When the remains of Jane Boultbee were laid beside those of her husband in the vault of Osgathorpe, it seems likely that the home at Stordon Grange was finally broken up. The lease of 99 years must by this time have nearly run out, and though the youngest son Robert possibly continued to occupy Stordon as a tenant for some years, he seems not to have prospered, and the place was no longer the home and centre of the family. The residue, if any, of the inherited property was doubtless sold, and the dispersed family formed new connections. In this chapter closes the older history. During the 18th century this line of the descendants of Joseph Boultbee had scarcely ramified at all. From this time it will be necessary to show how widely during the nineteenth century they have spread abroad.