Robert Carleton, last of the Carletons

In a previous post,  I mentioned Robert Carleton, of Carleton Hall, near Penrith, almost ‘in brackets’.  Here is a bit more about Robert, the last of the Carletons.

Robert Carleton: a long pedigree

In The Old Manorial Halls of Westmorland & Cumberland (1892), the author, Michael Waistell Taylor MD wrote:

There were three inferior manors within the parish of Penrith. One called Bishop’s Row…the third belonged to the Huttons of Hutton Hall. 

The second was the manor of CARLETON HALL held by the Carletons. 

The pedigree of the family, as certified by Dugdale, and given in the county histories, goes back to the time of Edward I., above which date there are five descents of which the names barely are given, which must lead back to the time of the Conquest. …the name would imply that they were of Saxon birth.

Indeed, the 1665 Visitations Pedigrees, do show a solid family tree back to a vague ‘Baldwyn’ who apparently had a son Jeffrey de Carleton.

Waistell Taylor (who was vice-president of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society) noted:

The line of the Carletons formed alliances with many of the principal families, and continued down to the time of William III., and became extinct in 1707.  

Robert Carleton, last of the line

Robert Carleton was the only son of Sir William Carleton, of Carleton Hall, and his second wife Barbara (née de la Vale), and at the time of the 1665 Visitation was eight years old.

He made a will (not signed) in 1703, ‘in full health of body and of sound, perfect and disposing mind and memory’. He bequeated his soul to its maker, hoping for ‘eternal bliss’. His earthly bequests make distressing reading.

Robert Carleton, Carleton Hall, Cumbrian Characters

They start out ok. He was ‘seized in my desmesne as of fee in the right of Joane my wife of one mortgage on Mansion House, one Boyle house, one Curing house, one Still house, two winde mills, one cattle mill, one wash house, one corn house, rum houses stables and forty cottages.

However. He also had 400 acres in the parish of Christchurch, on Barbardos. Planted with sugar cane and potatoes. It was called ‘Lewis or Carleton’s plantation’.

And in a long list of land, outhouses, timber, ditches, tools, he leaves his wife Joan ‘412 negroes, more or less’. Before adding that he leaves her his black velvet bed hangings in the house at Carleton.

Beloved wife Joan

Joan Carleton was née Joanna Frere, in 1663, the daughter (and co-heir) of John Frere of Barbados. And she’d lost two husbands already when she married Robert: a Colonel Thomas Lewis of Barbados, and a Samuel Crisp(e) in 1691. Crispe has to be related to African trader Samuel Crispe, who ‘brought a boatload of Africans to Barbados in 1642’. 

Colonel Thomas Lewis left a 214 acre plantation to Joan (hence ‘Lewis or Carleton’s plantation’). The estate was almost double that size by 1703.

Robert Carleton’s full health didn’t last long: he died in September 1703. Eleven months later, his widow Joan married husband no 4: Robert Lowther, ‘the tyrant of Barbardos’. You can read more about him in the post I mentioned at the top.

But while Joan’s unpleasant estate in Barbardos was secure – albeit that it again went to her new husband – things were far from settled back home.

An only child – and debts

Robert Carleton and Joan had one child, a daughter called Mary who hadn’t married. 

The National Archives give an idea of the problem Mary faced.

The file, dated 1714-22, is headed: 

Catalogue description. Robert Carleton of Carleton Hall Esq. deceased: family settlement by his only child Mary, Chancery lawsuit by his many creditors, and resulting sale deeds further complicated by the purchaser’s death before completion.

Carleton Hall: the Pattensons

Another National Archives file tells us that the Pattensons of Penrith had become the Pattensons of Carleton Hall from 1710.

According to guide book A Survey of the Lakes of Cumberland, Westmorland, and Lancashire, by James Clarke, Penrith, (1787), John Pattenson was an attorney.

Some 11 years later, John Pattenson of Carleton Hall died. His children by wife Elizabeth were all minors. And his estate comprised Carleton Hall and Manor, estate in Culgaith, burgage in Cockermouth, Kelsick Hall and demesne, Rectory of Bromfield, tithes of [West] Newton, Allonby, and “Dundrow”, houses and lands in Penrith, Penrith Castle, Bolton Hall (Westmorland), estate in Temple Sowerby, tithes of Little Strickland, and Branthwaite Hall and Manor (Cumberland).

He made a total of 55 bequests and directions, including ‘the finishing and adorning of the Great window [the East window] of Penreth Church,’ and ‘and £20 to Robinson’s School, Middlegate, Penrith, being the £10 bequest of “my Uncle Sleddall”.

Carleton Hall passed to Christopher Pattenson, who died in 1756 without issue (no children). There was a protracted kerfuffle over dividing up his estate. His three Pattenson sisters spent fifty years arguing over what ‘equal shares’ meant in their brother’s will.

According to James Clarke (who didn’t bother with women’s names):

The eldest sister had Carleton-Hall allotted to her as her share. She was married to Mr. Simpson] of Penrith, by whom she had one daughter, who was married to the late James Wallace, Esq; who, after living many years with high and increasing reputation, died in the honourable post of Attorney-General to his present Majesty George the III.

And then…

Carleton Hall was rebuilt in the mid-1700s, it seems. James Wallace, of Carleton Hall, died in 1783. And to cut a long story short, Carleton Hall is currently the headquarters of Cumbria Police.

One thought on “Robert Carleton, last of the Carletons

Comments are closed.