Note for: George Crowe, 25 Nov 1719 - 10 Oct 1782 Index
Date: 10 Dec 1719
Place: St Martin in the Fields, WestminsterBurial:
Place: Bolton-on-Swale churchIndividual Note:
Initial data taken from Kiplin Hall Guidebook, 2005, p40.
Owned Kiplin Hall from 1776 to 1782.
The death date is taken from the family memorial in Bolton-on-Swale church.
Note for: Christopher Crowe, Chr. 22 Jun 1682 - 9 Nov 1749 Index
Date: 22 Jun 1682
Place: Bothal, nr Ashington, NorthumberlandBurial:
Place: St Mary's, WoodfordIndividual Note:
Owned Kiplin Hall from 1722 to 1749.
Christopher Crowe the elder was born in Ashington, Northumberland, and when quite young he was taken under the care of his eldest brother Mitford Crowe, who held business, banking, military and diplomatic posts in England, Spain and Barbados. In 1705, aged only 24, he became the British Consul in Livorno (Leghorn), Italy. He received the lucrative contract to supply the British Mediterranean fleet with wine and oil during the war of the Spanish Succession (1703-1711). He also acted as prize agent for captured merchant ships in the area and as an agent acquiring works of art for Englishmen noblemen, such as the statues for the Duke of Marlborough's new salon at Blenheim Palace. By 1716 he had amassed a fortune and he collected many paintings, books and other items in Europe which are still on display in Kiplin Hall.
In April 1715 Christopher married Lady Charlotte Lee, shortly after the death of her first husband Benedict Calvert, 4th Lord Baltimore. They returned to England and settled at Woodford Hall in Essex. Charlotte died in 1721 and in 1722 Christopher purchased Kiplin Hall and 800 acres for £7000 from his financially embarrassed stepson Charles, 5th Lord Baltimore. It became the Crowe family home for the next century. Christopher himself made substantial changes to the Jacobean house, which was already 100 years old, inserting a central staircase, changing the previously symmetrical layout on all three floors, and building a large service wing and kitchens.
Lady Charlotte had been buried in St Mary's Woodford, and Christopher was buried there alongside her rather than in Yorkshire.
Note for: Charlotte Lee, 13 Mar 1679 - 22 Jan 1721 Index
Place: St Mary's, WoodfordIndividual Note:
Charlotte Lee was the granddaughter of King Charles II and his mistress Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland. Her mother, Charlotte Fitzroy, married the Earl of Lichfield at the age of 12 and was still only 13 when Charlotte was born at St James's Park, London - the eldest of 20 children The name Charlotte was rare in those days, but was specifically chosen to signify links back to King Charles; indeed Charlotte Lee's second daughter by Christopher Crowe was also called Charlotte. Charlotte Lee is the direct ancestor of both General Robert E Lee and Sir Anthony Eden, though via her Calvert rather than her Crowe offspring.
In 1699 at the age of 21 Charlotte Lee married Benedict Calvert, who later became 4th Baron Baltimore (albeit for only 2 months in 1715 before he himself died). He was quite a catch. The Calvert family's estate at Kiplin in Yorkshire, 6980 acres of land in counties Wexford and Wicklow, the 'country, province and islands in America commonly called Maryland' with all incomes, rights, royalties and duties payable to the Calverts as proprietors and governors of the colony were all conveyed to the trustees of the marriage settlement and entailed on any children of the marriage
They had 8 children in under 7 years, including twins, but in September 1705 Calvert separated from Charlotte, 'his four sons and two daughters living with their father'. A deed of separation allowed Charlotte £200 per annum. A petition for divorce was presented to the House of Lords on 15 February 1710/11 claiming that 'Since the separation Lady Charlotte has exposed herself to open adultery...' and requesting the bastardizing of any children born since the separation; but there were no further proceedings after 9 April 1711 and the bill was never enacted. Apparently Charlotte 'hath given herself up to a notorious lewd and dishonourable course of life and particularly hath had unlawful familiarity with a certain person called Count Castelli and is guilty of adultery on her part and hath broken the bond of matrimony...' It seems she did have more children between 1705 and 1711.
Benedict died (undivorced) in April 1715, and only 4 months later Charlotte married Christopher Crowe the elder in the Church of St.Gervais in Geneva, though the marriage settlement was not finalised until 1719. They moved into Woodford Hall in Essex, which Christopher had bought from Sir Richard Child in 1707. She died there of arthritis in 1721 after only 6 years of marriage, having produced 4 further children. There is a fine memorial to her in St Mary's, Woodford.
It was only in the year following her death that Christopher bought Kiplin Hall from his step-son Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore. In 1727 Christopher sold Woodford Hall to a William Hunt. As part of the marriage settlement in 1719 a legal agreement had been drawn up to safeguard the wealth of Charlotte, who was a granddaughter of a king (albeit via an illegitimate branch) and to ensure their property was passed down to their joint heirs. Consequently it was necessary to pass an Act of Parliament in 1727 to allow Christopher Crowe to sell Woodford Hall and transfer these safeguards to Kiplin. Christopher never remarried, and when he died in 1749 he was buried alongside his wife in Woodford rather than in Yorkshire.
(Ref: 'More than a Hint of Scandal' by Georgina Green)