The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

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Descendant's report for John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield, Baron of Dunamore, Co. Meath, Ireland and Baron of Roscommon, son of Isaac Holroyd and Dorothy Holroyd [Baker]

© National Portrait Gallery

John Holroyd the son of Isaac Holroyd and Dorothy Baker was born in Ireland on 21st December 1735. The name of Holroyd is of great antiquity in the West Riding of Yorkshire and is derived from the hamlet or estate of Holroyd (or Howroyd as it is pronounced in Bark-Island, six miles from Halifax). William de Howroyde possessed these lands in the reign of King Edward I. From him is descended John Holroyd's great grandfather Isaac Holroyde who went to Ireland in the reign of Charles II where he acquired considerable possessions. John's father Isaac was educated at Hackney school and afterwards at Doctor Sheridan's in Dublin before entering the University of Dublin and afterwards at the Middle Temple, London. Isaac married Dorothy , the youngest daughter of Daniel Baker of Penn, Bucks. In 1768 John Holroyd succeeded to the estates of his mother's brother, the Rev. Jones Baker, and took the name Baker before Holroyd.

John Holroyd entered the Marquis of Granby's regiment of light dragoons called the Royal Foresters in 1760 where he was Captain of a troop. When peace arrived in 1763 and the regiment was disbanded, John Holroyd travelled for three years across Europe. It was in Lausanne in September 1763 that he met the historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) who became a life-long friend and confidant. Gibbon wrote: "I have conceived a sincere friendship for Holroyd. He possesses great good sense and honourable sentiments, with a heart the best disposed in the world." When Gibbon died in 1794 he was interred at the Sheffield mausoleum in Fletching church and two years later John Holroyd edited and published the two volume Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Edward Gibbon, Esq.

Throughout his adult life Holroyd was active in politics and wrote extensively on the issues of the day. He entered parliament as M.P. for Coventry in 1780, for Bristol in 1790, and in 1809 he was admited to the Privy Council and Board of Trade, a position he held until his death in 1821

In 1769, John Holroyd purchased Sheffield Park from Lord de La Warr for £31,000. He commenced on extensive changes and developments of the property and its surrounding 120 acres of woodland park. In 1776 he engaged the architect James Wyatt (1746-1813) to enlarge and modernise the 16th century house in a Gothic style. He also engaged first Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-1783) and then Humphrey Repton (1752-1818) to landscape the gardens.

John Holroyd married in 1767, Abigail Way daughter of Lewis Way and Abigail Lockey, and they had three children, John William, Maria Josepha and Louisa Dorothea. After Abigail's death in 1793, he married, in 1794, Lucy Pelham daughter of Thomas Pelham, 1st Earl of Chichester, and Anne Frankland. After her death in 1797, he married, in 1798, Ann North the daughter of Frederick North 2nd Earl of Guilford, and Anne Speke in 1798 and they had two children, George Augustus Frederick Charles (who later became 2nd Earl of Sheffield) and Anne Frederice Catherine.

Sheffield Park was the principal residence of the Holroyds but they also had property in London at Portland Place where, at the age of 86, he died on 20th May 1821. His body was interred at Fletching Church in June where the memorial inscription on the decorated screen in the Sheffield mausoleum is immediately above the inscription for his close friend Edward Gibbon


See also The History, Antiquities and Topography of the County of Sussex by Thomas Walker Horsfield, published in 1835 and


Generation No. 1
  1. John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield, Baron of Dunamore, Co. Meath, Ireland and Baron of Roscommon was the son of Isaac Holroyd and Dorothy Holroyd [Baker]. He was born 21st Dec 1735 at Ireland; 1st Baron Sheffield, of Dunamore, co. Meath, Ireland 9th Jan 1781; 1st Baron Sheffield, of Roscommon, Ireland 20th Sep 1783; 1st Baron Sheffield, of Sheffield, Yorkshire 29th Jul 1802; 1st Earl of Sheffield 16th Jan 1816; 1st Viscount of Pevensey 16th Jan 1816; died 20th May 1821 at Portland Place, London, aged 86 years; buried Jun 1821 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex, Sheffield mausoleum
  He married (1) Abigail Way on 26th Apr 1767 at Richmond, London. She was born 1746, daughter of Lewis Way, of Old Court, Richmond, Surrey, and Abigail Lockey; died 3rd Apr 1793. They had the following children:
  iJohn William who was born 4th Apr 1768 at Greave Hall, Yorkshire; christened 10th Apr 1770 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex; died Jul 1772 Fletching, Sussex; buried 18th Jul 1772 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex, Sheffield mausoleum
2 iiMaria Josepha who was born 3rd Jan 1771; christened 31st Jan 1771 St. James, Westminster, London; died 1st Nov 1863 Holmwood, Shiplake, near Henley, Oxfordshire; buried after 1st Nov 1863 St. Mary's Church, Alderley, Cheshire
3 iiiLouisa Dorothea who was born 1st Sep 1776 at Fletching, Sussex; christened 7th Oct 1776 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex; died 14th May 1854
  He married (2) Lady Lucy Pelham on 26th Dec 1794. She was born 23rd Feb 1763, daughter of Thomas Pelham, 1st Earl of Chichester, and Anne Frankland; died 18th Jan 1797; buried after 18th Jan 1797 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex, Sheffield mausoleum
  He married (3) Lady Anne North on 20th Jan 1798. She was born 8th Jan 1764, daughter of Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, and Anne Speke; died 18th Jan 1832; buried after 18th Jan 1832 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex, Sheffield mausoleum. They had the following children:
4 iGeorge Augustus Frederick Charles who was born 13th Mar 1802; died 5th Apr 1876, aged 74 years; buried 13th Apr 1876 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex
5 iiAnne Frederice Catherine who was born 25th Dec 1804 at Fletching, Sussex; christened 19th Jan 1805 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex; died 31st Aug 1829
   
Generation No. 2
  2. Lady Maria Josepha Stanley [Holroyd], letter writer and liberal advocate was the daughter of John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield, Baron of Dunamore, Co. Meath, Ireland and Baron of Roscommon and Abigail Holroyd [Way]. She was born 3rd Jan 1771; christened 31st Jan 1771 at St. James, Westminster, London; died 1st Nov 1863 at Holmwood, Shiplake, near Henley, Oxfordshire; buried after 1st Nov 1863 at St. Mary's Church, Alderley, Cheshire
  She married John Thomas Stanley on 11th Oct 1796 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex. He was born 1766, son of Sir John Thomas Stanley, of Alderley Park, Cheshire, and Margaret Owen; died 1850
   
  3. Louisa Dorothea Clinton [Holroyd] was the daughter of John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield, Baron of Dunamore, Co. Meath, Ireland and Baron of Roscommon and Abigail Holroyd [Way]. She was born 1st Sep 1776 at Fletching, Sussex; christened 7th Oct 1776 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex; died 14th May 1854
  She married Lt.-General Sir William Henry Clinton on 14th Mar 1797. He was born 23rd Dec 1769 at Hertfordshire, son of Henry Clinton and harriet Carter; died 23rd Dec 1846
   
  4. George Augustus Frederick Charles Holroyd, 2nd Earl of Sheffield was the son of John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield and Lady Anne Holroyd [North]. He was born 13th Mar 1802; died 5th Apr 1876, aged 74 years; buried 13th Apr 1876 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex
  He married Harriett Lascelles on 6th Jun 1825. She was born 1802, daughter of Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood; died 1st Jan 1889, aged 86 years; buried 5th Jan 1889 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex. They had the following children:
  iFrederic Henry Stuart who was born 24th Oct 1827; died 21st Mar 1829, aged 18 months; buried 25th Mar 1829 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex, Sheffield mausoleum
6 iiSusan Harriet who was born 13th Apr 1829; christened 9th May 1829 Marylebone, London; died 5th Apr 1894
  iiiHenry North who was born 18th Jan 1832 at 58 Portland Place, Marylebone, London; died 21st Apr 1909 Beaulieu, France, aged 77 years; buried after 21st Apr 1909 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex
  ivDouglas Edward who was born 20th Jun 1834; died 9th Feb 1882, aged 47 years; buried 13th Apr 1882 St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex
   
  5. Lady Anne Frederice Catherine Legge [Holroyd] was the daughter of John Baker Holroyd, 1st Earl of Sheffield and Lady Anne Holroyd [North]. She was born 25th Dec 1804 at Fletching, Sussex; christened 19th Jan 1805 at St Andrew & St Mary Church, Fletching, Sussex; died 31st Aug 1829
  She married The Hon. Arthur Charles Legge on 12th Jun 1827 at St. Marylebone, Westminster, London. He was born c 1800
   
Generation No. 3
  6. Susan Harriet Harcourt [Holroyd] was the daughter of George Augustus Frederick Charles Holroyd, 2nd Earl of Sheffield and Harriett Holroyd [Lascelles], Countess of Sheffield. She was born 13th Apr 1829; christened 9th May 1829 at Marylebone, London; died 5th Apr 1894
  She married Edward William Vernon Harcourt on 26th Jun 1849 at St. Marylebone, Westminster, London. He was born c 1825, son of William Harcourt; died 5th Apr 1894
   

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